Her daily routine starts with a long walk for new discoveries. Then, back at the studio, she translates her observations through these artificial yet wondrous compositions of beads. Recently, Lou’s taken to smashing the beads with a hammer, then adding painterly finishes over the material’s inherent sheen, as in works like Going to California and Lost Highway (both 2021). “I reached a point making woven canvases where I began to ask what the material does that paint can’t do,” she explained.
The show also includes Carbon Gunmetal/Divide and Sepia Bronze/Divide, two older beaded paintings, created between 2012 and 2014, with visual nods to Minimalism. Both paintings split the canvas horizontally into two subdued colors—grayish in the former, earthier in the latter—all awash with countless beads inhabiting the surface.
Her sculptural work Aggregate: Bronze (2018) meanwhile references Abstract Expressionism. In her own poetic words, this is “a relationship with color itself, and the way in which a bead is a unit of color, a droplet, all of which reminds me of the splatter and drips of Abstract Expressionism.”