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Exhibition of new work by Tim Hawkinson opens at The Pace Gallery in New York
Tim Hawkinson, Do-Si-Do, 2013. Fiberglass, steel and Bondo, 20" x 33" x 22" (50.8 cm x 83.8 cm x 55.9 cm). © Tim Hawkinson courtesy Pace Gallery. Photo: Courtesy Joshua White.

NEW YORK, NY.- Pace presents an exhibition of new work by Tim Hawkinson. The exhibition will be on view at 508 West 25th Street, New York, from May 3 through June 29.

Tim Hawkinson’s idiosyncratic creations are meditations on nature, machines, mortality, the body and human consciousness. Since the 1980s, Hawkinson has used common household materials, handcrafted and found objects, and mechanical components to shift familiar subject matter askew, creating visual conundrums imbued with deeper meaning. His inventive works range in size from monumental kinetic and sound-producing sculptures to almost microscopic pieces created from such unassuming materials as fingernail clippings and eggshells. Driven by materials and an interest in transformation, Hawkinson continues to create unlikely and thought-provoking associations by repurposing ordinary materials into extraordinary works of art. All of the pieces in this show take their titles from Girl Scout cookies, yielding uncannily accurate descriptive associations with each work and reflecting how daily experience—in this case, his daughter’s cookie drive—influences Hawkinson’s imagination.

Many of the new works are inspired by materials scavenged from Hawkinson’s garden and suburban Los Angeles neighborhood, utilized in unexpected ways. The sculpture Kookabura—a human-bird-man-machine hybrid balanced on its long tail—is made from the leathery palm fronds found at the base of the trunk, with each piece of armor held together with acorn “rivets.” The totemic figure Trefoil is made out of pinecones and jacaranda logs, joined together by a tongue and groove construction that echoes the surface of the pinecones, breaking the branch down to its elemental particles.

The interest in biomorphism recurs in the nearly ten-foot-tall sculpture Animal Treasures, a “fountain” of species, with each smaller creature held by the scruff of his neck by a larger creature, raising ideas of repetition and regeneration while also creating a kinetic effect through the ball bearings installed in the scruff of each “mother’s” mouth. The ideas of chains and repetition reappear both in the biomorphic, corporeal Bondo link sculpture Do-Si-Do, and in Daisy-Go-Round, which consists of Hawkinson’s young daughter’s bike, sliced into chain links. “It’s not so much about chains as confinement,” says Hawkinson. “Instead, it’s more about things that are linked together.”

The works also continue Hawkinson’s fascination with the negative space of the human body. While some take the body as subject matter, others explore the human body as material, with non-figurative pieces functioning as unconventional self-portraits. Tagalong, a four-foot-tall seahorse suspended from the ceiling, is made from resin impressions of the artist’s joints—the smaller parts forming the tail are cast from Hawkinson’s knuckles, the larger pieces from his knees or elbow. Likewise, the windows in the lanterns Double Dutch and Shout Out are made from translucent casts that combine the radii of two body parts to create a lens. By casting the most spherical parts of his body, Hawkinson created convex and concave pieces that retain the imperfect texture of skin, including hair, scars, and pimples. In using his own body, Hawkinson extends his reductive process of using materials that are readily at hand.

In his exploration of the body and biomorphism, Hawkinson also addresses the way in which humans are enslaved by their senses. Inspired by images of Houdini, the bronze sculpture Samoa is a life-size cast of the artist’s own body, with chains linking the artist’s hands and mouth. The joints of the chain are casts of the artist’s tongue and lips, which join another chain originating from the hands, made of casts of Hawkinson’s thumb and index finger. Though he has previously explored the realm of the senses in his photo-collage and sculpture, this is the most startling work to date.

Tim Hawkinson (b. 1960, San Francisco, CA) received his B.F.A. from San Jose University (1984) and an M.F.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles (1989). Hawkinson works across a wide range of media, from sculpture, installation, and painting, to photography and collage, and many of is highly original works include moving components and sound, inventing new ways for seeing and thinking about the world around us.

Hawkinson’s work has been featured in more than forty solo exhibitions and seventy-five group exhibitions since 1981, including the Venice Biennale (1999), the Whitney Biennial (2002), as well as Fantasy Underfoot: The 47th Biennial Exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (2003). Four of his idiosyncratic clocks are currently included in the exhibition 0 to 60 at the North Carolina Art Museum, Raleigh, a continuation of his ongoing interest in horology.

In 2008, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney presented Tim Hawkinson: Mapping the Marvelous. In 2007, Zoopsia: New Works by Tim Hawkinson, referring to the visual hallucination of animals associated with delirium tremens, went on view at The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. A major mid-career retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2005) also traveled to Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Other significant solo exhibitions have been presented by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati and Arnoff Center for the Arts, Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery, which later traveled to the Akron Art Museum, Ohio; Center for the Arts, Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco; Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, North Carolina; and John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Wisconsin (1996-97).

In 2002, the Stuart Collection at the University of California, San Diego, unveiled the artist’s monumental sculpture Bear, a 180-ton, 23-1/2-foot-tall teddy bear constructed from eight uncarved granite boulders, which will remain on view permanently. Hawkinson is currently at work on a major commission for the Transbay Terminal in San Francisco. Sponsored by the San Francisco Arts Commission, the project will use chunks of reclaimed concrete to create a human figure standing more than 40 feet tall. It will be completed in 2014.

Hawkinson’s work can be found in numerous important public collections, including the Indianapolis Museum of Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Hawkinson joined Pace Gallery in 2005. He lives and works in California.

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