Margo Wolowiec

Virtual becomes physical in woven distortions of artefacts from the internet.

Margo Wolowiec was born in 1985 in Detroit, Michigan, USA, where she continues to live and work.

Career

Wolowiec's art has been exhibited alongside a number of seminal predecessors, including Pop Art icon Roy Lichtenstein - joining a lineage of artists who create work using pre-existing images and objects from their cultural context.

Collections

Works featured in collections including Detroit Center for Photography; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco; MacLean Collection, Libertyville and San Jose Museum of Art.

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Practice overview

Margo Wolowiec balances deep theoretical considerations about the digital-world, information and politics with the physical processes of weaving and printing. Apps and algorithms are used to collect photographs from hashtags or geo-tags, which she then prints onto polyester threads and weaves together. Her large works are assembled in panels that are mounted onto canvas or stretched on free-standing copper frames. Ancient, modern and contemporary influences mix within the works, some of which include Navajo rugs, traditional Berber weaving, the Bauhaus tapestries of Otti Berger and contemporary artists such as Laura Owens and Ruth Laskey. Climate change is a key theme also. Thursday Temperature (2019), for example, is a large single panel wall-work with a deep blue, indigo dye which bleeds upwards through the work, leaving a stain in the fabric that represents rising sea levels.

Text is an important symbol throughout the works. Wolowiec explains that the histories of writing and cloth are bound to each other: the word “text” derives from the Latin “texere,” meaning to weave together. Throughout history, tapestry has been used to impart information and commemorate important events in the same way that written language does in the contemporary age. In Wolowiec's textiles, words and phrases borrowed from multiple news outlets (credible, fake and everything in between) become warped. This means that language shifts between legibility and illegibility. Text and photographs bleed in and out of each other with the same transience as our ever-refreshing newsfeeds - slowing down the bit-rate of information into still, contemplative textiles.

"I have always been interested in textiles ability to hold information and act as an index of time and place."Margo Wolowiec