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First comprehensive survey on the work of Jim Hodges premieres at the Dallas Museum of Art
Jim Hodges, Untitled (one day it all comes true), 2013. Denim fabric and thread, 720 x 1,440 inches. Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels, © Jim Hodges.

DALLAS, TX.- Dallas will premiere a major traveling exhibition and the first comprehensive survey to be organized in the United States on the work of contemporary American artist Jim Hodges. Co-organized by the Dallas Museum of Art and the Walker Art Center, Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take explores the trajectory of the artist’s twenty-five-year career, highlighting the major themes that unify his multilayered and varied practice.

The exhibition includes over eighty works in all media made between 1987 and 2013, including works never before seen in the United States, as well as a major new work created especially for this exhibition. Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take examines how Hodges transforms both everyday and precious materials into poignant meditations on themes such as time, loss, identity, and love. The exhibition brings together photography, drawing, works on paper, and objects rendered in mirror, light bulbs, and glass, alongside several major room-size installations, to examine and illuminate Hodges’ command of material and gesture.

Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take will include two works from the DMA’s permanent collection: Changing Things (1997), a wall assemblage comprising 342 rhythmically arranged silk flower petals and leaves that reference the precarious nature of beauty, and and still this (2005–2008), a large-scale immersive environment comprising 10 canvases of ascending height, intricately patterned in gold leaf. The inclusion of works from the DMA’s collection highlights the Dallas community as the home of the largest core collection of Hodges’ work in public and private hands in the nation.

On view at the Dallas Museum of Art from October 6, 2013, through January 12, 2014, Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take is co-curated by Jeffrey Grove, the DMA’s senior curator of special projects & research, and Olga Viso, executive director of the Walker. Following its debut at the DMA, the exhibition will travel to Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center, where it will open in February 2014, and then proceed to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston in June, and the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, in October.

“Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take immerses the viewer within the poetic practice and attuned vision of one of the most compelling artists working today. We are pleased to partner with the Walker Art Center in the organization of the first major retrospective of the artist’s career, adding to new curatorial insight and broadening public understanding of an artist whose work deserves even greater national and international recognition,” said Maxwell L. Anderson, the DMA’s Eugene McDermott Director.

“We are thrilled to have played a key role in the development of this exhibition, the result of a natural partnership between the Walker and the Dallas Museum of Art,” said Walker Art Center Executive Director Olga Viso. “Both Jeffrey Grove and I have long histories working with Jim Hodges, having exhibited and acquired his work early on in his career. When the exhibition comes to the Walker, it will be a fantastic complement to Untitled, a major outdoor sculpture by Jim Hodges that the Walker acquired and installed this spring.”

Since the late 1980s, Jim Hodges’ reconsiderations of the material world have inspired a body of work in which the man-made and artificial are invested with emotion and authenticity. From the delicate nature of early installations comprising hundreds of drawings on paper napkins and disassembled silk flowers pinned to the wall, to the large, light-filled mirror mosaics and complex installations of the past decade, Hodges’ ability to coax meaning from the simplest materials has remained constant. His aesthetic has consistently embraced natural metaphors, reveled in the qualities of color and light, and explored meaning through language, particularly in Hodges’ use of text and titling.

Though much of his work appears concerned with the evanescence of time, it is the careful recording of it in the making of his art that distinguishes Hodges’ approach. “Jim’s concern and interest in the passage of time and ephemeral nature of life can be read through his experience coming of age in the mid-1980s, at the height of the culture wars and AIDS crisis. But in looking at his body of work comprehensively, what is revealed is a celebration of nature and life,” said Grove. “There are broad affinities throughout his work in all media that extend beyond the material to embrace experiences of light, color, and sound. Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take provides a singular opportunity to experience the artist’s complex and nuanced devotion to ideas and ethics that are very personal, but easily accessible.”

Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take maps a timeline of the artist’s career, but rather than unfolding chronologically, the exhibition is organized around significant recurring themes that have informed and shaped Hodges’ practice, including materiality, temporality, and the threshold between light and dark.

Highlighted works include:

· Untitled (Gate), 1991, a roomlike installation that one cannot enter, marks one of Hodges’ earliest major articulations of the web motif that became a recurrent theme in the artist’s work for many years, as well as one of his first forays into the structure of space and architecture as critical elements

· what’s left, 1992, a touching meditation on identity and loss, comprises a virtual portrait of the artist as if he had just disrobed. This sculpture of Hodges’ clothing is knit together by a delicate silver-chain spider web, symbol of both strength and fragility, a simultaneity informing much of Hodges’ work.

· With the Wind, 1997, is a layered scrim of floral-print and delicately colored silk scarves. This work, both fragile and reactive to its environment, is informed by memory and explores ideas of accumulation and dispersal that echo through Hodges’ work.

· As close as I can get, 1998, is a large-scale drawing rendered in Pantone color chips held together with tape. This work underscores Hodges’ interest in labor, craft, and the exuberant potentiality of color.

· All in the field, 2003, a mesmerizing hand-embroidered textile, fuses the powerful grisaille camouflage pattern Hodges has rendered elsewhere in large-scale wall-paintings and outdoor sculpture with the delicate floral motif that appears throughout his practice.

· Ghost, 2008, an exquisite hand-worked glass sculpture of beautiful butterflies and delicate budding flowers encased by a massive bell jar, unifies themes including the fragility of life and memento mori that Hodges has explored throughout his career.

· on the way between places, 2009, an epic series of twenty-one charcoal and saliva drawings, discloses Hodges’ constantly evolving interest in drawing, natural metaphor, ideas of construction and dissimilation, and disruption of sequential time.

· Movements (Stage IV), 2009, is a dazzling, intricately patterned mosaic of cut mirror. This work exemplifies Hodges’ engagement with the reflective surface, evoking both the music of the dance club and the consequences of vanity. It symbolizes Hodges’ ongoing negotiation with dueling themes of celebration and memorialization.

· Untitled (one day it all comes true), 2013, an expansive fabric mural exhibited for the first time in Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take, is one of the most labor-intensive and epic works Hodges has produced to date. Comprising thousands of individual pieces of cut denim, the entire work is composed of found, donated, and purchased denim in every shade on the spectrum, from bright white to intensely dark indigo.

New York–based artist Jim Hodges is known for his singular ability to infuse emotion and narrative into the objects of our daily lives, creating poignant studies on ideas such as temporality, life, and love. He has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the U.S. and in Europe, including the 2004 Whitney Biennial and a solo exhibition at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

Hodges’ work is included in the collections of notable institutions, among them the Dallas Museum of Art; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; the Art Institute of Chicago; Fonds Régional des Pays de la Loire, Nantes, France; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. He is a former honoree of TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art, an annual contemporary art auction benefitting the DMA and amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.

Born in 1957 in Spokane, Washington, Hodges received a BFA from Fort Wright College in Spokane and an MFA from the Pratt Institute. He lives and works in New York City.

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