Lillian Bayley Hoover

Much of my past work features visual phenomena and tensions that are routinely overlooked but quietly thrilling. The paintings possess a meditative quality: they are both refuge from and embrace of the world, as well as an invitation to the viewer for shared presence. But something broke for me in 2017 — it was a hard year for many in our country. The work I’d been making no longer felt sufficient to process the pervasive despair, anxiety, and brokenness I encountered and felt at every turn. I began covering my paintings with many layers of thin white glazes: in burying them, I could simultaneously deny one’s access (an act motivated by fury and fear) and preserve them for a safer time (a hopeful action). I simplified in other ways, too, and “tore” critical information away. Holding Space at Goya Contemporary was an attempt to process this collective existential crisis. In a departure from previous work, the series ventures into the uncomfortable space of partial destruction, incomplete information, and uncertainty. The paintings ask the viewer to dwell in this space, to wait, to look, to hold space for what is to come.