Delicacy and tenacity come together in Jane Hugentober's art much like her identities as mother, daughter and maker fuse into a single self. Life and work are matters of process, craft, handwork.
In her first solo show since earning her master’s of fine arts from UCLA in 2014, Hugentober fills the Harmony Murphy Gallery with richly textural meditations on the female body. In the series "Monthlies," she presses her cocoa-buttered belly onto silk for each allotted span of studio time, neatly filling the rest of each panel with hand-stitched quilting representing continuous daily domestic activity. The windows of opportunity to work as an artist take the form of skin-like pouches that could just as easily stand for the maternal work of gestation.
Deeply influenced by process-driven art of the 1960s and feminist-centered work of the '70s, Hugentober rolls, loops and presses, knits and stains, rubs and sheathes. The physically, viscerally powerful "And That Was That" invokes Eva Hesse with its irregular swath of latex-encrusted jute netting, hanging from its corners by two industrial meat hooks, and draping onto the floor like a spent pelt. A silk-wrapped cord spiked in pink courses vertically down the middle. Umbilical, soft spine, artery — it divides the porous field in two, and like so many other marks and stitches in the artist's work, it resonates as a deeply metaphorical seam.
Harmony Murphy Gallery, 358 E. 2nd St., Los Angeles. Through Aug. 13. Closed Sundays through Tuesdays. (213) 534-6153, www.harmonymurphygallery.com
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