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 Michigan.
Early on through the women in her life, Louise was exposed to all types of “domestic” crafts, sewing, crochet, knitting, embroidery and macrame. 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 associated with the natural environment. The challenge she sees here is taking a form(s) that is perfect and altering it (them) by combining one or more objects to re-contexturalize their relationship to one another.
Her graphic works employ weaving and collaging of imagery scoured from the pages of womens’ 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 womens’ 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 patiaed 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 that takes on the characteristics of the “masculine” fine art sculpture thereby enhancing their intrinsic value.
Her current project is an experiment with casting these laces in bronze to further explore the contextual relationship of lace to the surface. These newly defined artworks are a defiance of gravity, a defiance of invisibility and the gravity that has kept them in the background. She sees this becoming as alchemical, a pheonix from the flames so to speak. A transformation where the original material disappears forever and a newly created artwork emerges in a new form diametrically opposed to its’ origins but retaining the threadlike ethereal quality of the original.
During her career Louises’ 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. There are of course the formal aspects of artwork light, shadow, composition and metallic surfaces, but the underlying theme running through all is the exploration and relationship to domesticity and feminism, women’s work and men’s work and the fine lines between craft and fine art. These ever-present prominent lines between the male and female in the art world and the dominance of the masculine in both art and society are front and center.