Luanne Martineau

Jessica Bradley Art + Projects

Glancing from afar at two of Luanne Martineau’s vibrantly colored and compact fiber reliefs, one might be tempted to dismiss them as sentimental or simplistic throwbacks to the craft-based feminist practice of the 1970s. But perusal of this pair of works, made of wool yarn and felt, reveals a wide array of painterly and corporeal references combined with a striking formal and textural complexity. Portrait (all works 2006), for example, has a felted underlayer—which registers as a handworked relative of the machine-stitched unprimed canvas—that is combined with delicate, sweeping overlays of hairlike black strings punctuated with light red accents. Atop this yarn base, the artist attaches details in felt, including white oval puffs of smoke, a detached pink nipple bordered by an orange areola, and deformed, downward-pointing digits gruesomely accented with fleshy and decomposing

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