In Lee Lozano's drawings from 1963 and 1964, the artist subjects tools—screwdrivers and bolts, staple guns and hammers—to violent aesthetic scrutiny, fleshing out these objects’ manifest chauvinist sexuality into a wildly disinhibited reinterpretation. ‘Lozano Tools’ provides readers a selection of these early works, where they can see that in Lozano’s hands, screws are no longer a neutral means to hang a painting or set a bookshelf but rather explicit euphemisms of sexist logic: anthropomorphized machines aggressively screwing in and out of each other in acts of over-determined functionality, regardless of pain or pleasure. A text by Sabine Folie connects Lozano’s Tool paintings to her drawings, the latter of which Folie describes as ‘spirals of . . . furious pencil strokes and . . . outrageous transmutations.’
Lee Lozano’s paintings are admired for their energy, daring physicality and tirelessness in investigating the body and issues of gender. Although lauded by Lucy Lippard in 1995 as the foremost female conceptual artist of her time, Lozano had disengaged herself from the New York art world completely by the early 1970s. She left behind a body of work of striking formal breadth and complexity.