Lonnie Holley, Mother P, 2011. Mixed media, 76.5 x 43 x 20 in.

Lonnie Holley

New York

James Fuentes

Cast-off items and other detritus are rich loci of meaning for Lonnie Holley, who uses found objects to create sculptures and assemblages with hidden narratives. Each item, regardless of size, plays a significant role within the larger story told by each work. The weathered and precarious appearance of Tornado Alley (2011) brought a sense of pathos to Holley’s recent exhibition, “Keeping You Out of Harm’s Way.” It references the storms that devastated the southeastern U.S. in 2011, particularly Holley’s home state of Alabama. An adjustable wooden stool, its seat almost completely unscrewed, lends a sense of instability to the base of the work. Thick wire molded across the seat creates a pyramidal form not unlike a cell phone tower. Affixed to the tower is a prominent wooden cross with a nosegay made of yellow-tipped wire; additional wire in red and white gives the impression of a flag waving in the wind. The cross implies a memorial, the tower alludes to the highway, and the humble stool references rural communities destroyed by the storms. …see the entire review in the print version of September’s Sculpture magazine.