Louise Pappageorge is a native of Chicago and a graduate of the School of the Art Institute, Chicago. Her work is included in many national and international private and corporate collections including the City of Chicago Merlo Library. Publications include American Craft, Fiber Arts and Home Magazines. She currently divides her time between Chicago and
Early on through the women in her life, Louise was exposed to all types of “domestic crafts” sewing, crochet, knitting and embroidery. Although her artworks have little to do with the utility of these crafts, she retained a profound interest in the mediums and sensibilities of those domestic crafts and their implications to feminism and women’s work.
Her first investigations into fine art that employed “craft works” were loom woven wire sculptures. These woven structures employ light, color and two dimensional relief to accentuate a dynamic and changing surface much like the soothing ethereal nature of water. These ephemeral and light loving surfaces continue to be prominent in her current works and explorations.
She has worked with constructions of found objects, bones, branches, thorns and wax creating sculptures that mirror forms and rhythms of the natural environment, combining one or more objects to re-contextualize their relationship to one another.
Her graphic works employ weaving and collaging of imagery scoured from the pages of women’s periodicals. They scrutinize and examine ideals and values of beauty, perfection and objectification imbedded covertly and subliminally into the pages of magazines, on billboards and in advertising. These commentaries on conditioning and conformity of women’s behavior linked to those expectations and societal norms culminated with her self-published book “Tina”. “Tina” is an exploration of some of the results of these assimilations and the expectations and behaviors they bring forth.
Her current body of work uses found and newly created crochet and laces to construct sculptural bodies of work that are metal leafed and patinaed creating sculptural forms from a feminized craft. She views these dimensional artworks as a dialogue about the initial feminized craft used as a background, metamorphosed into sculptural forms; no longer background but the object itself; that takes on the characteristics of the “masculine” fine art sculpture enhancing their intrinsic value.
An experiment with casting laces in bronze further exploring the contextual relationship of lace to the surface. These newly defined artworks are a defiance of invisibility and the gravity that has kept them in the background. She sees this becoming as alchemical, a phoenix from the flames so to speak. A transformation where the original material “lady work” disappears forever and a newly created artwork emerges in a form diametrically opposed to its’ origins but retaining the threadlike ethereal quality of the original.
Louise continues her inquiry into altering perception through new materials. A two week ceramic hand building intensive at Oxbow in the summer of 2019, peaked her interest into further exploring this medium. These three dimensional ceramic forms are reflections of the natural world, interior psychological spaces and folds and forms of cloth. Many are in direct dialogue with her concurrent works in fiber.
Louise’s’ work and life has taken turns and detours. Within the turns and detours there exists a strong reciprocity between the back and forth shifts from woven wire, lace and crochet and graphics to nature assemblage and ceramics. There are of course the formal aspects of artwork light, shadow, composition and surface treatments, but the underlying theme running through all is the exploration and relationship to domesticity, feminism, and the natural environment.
My sculptures are constructed of found laces and crochet along with newly created articles. Working across materials and classifications and moving beyond the traditional uses of lace, crochet and weaving, conventional textiles and textile techniques are re-purposed to create complex dimensional compositions. These forms interact with luminosity, line, shadows and textures. They are structural and strong while resonating with and reflecting their genesis and origins; the soft, pliable, penetrable and organic.
Surface treatments wax, patinas, copper, rust and metal leaf reference age and sculpture fabricated, forged and molded through fire, heat and hammer existing in direct opposition and incongruity to the ethereal and elegant forms constructed from the drawing of thread. These articles, relics of the past are re-animated, becoming the antithesis of their previous existence, that of obliquity and background. It is the feminized craft shifted into the role of object. I enjoy being present and contemporary to interpretation, but the work is as ancient as time. My mediums of expression continually illuminate the shadowy truth and power of the innate strength of women generally and over time. The technique always remains circular and repetitive, much the same as the distaff work always expected of the feminine role.