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Pace Galleries

Tim Hawkinson

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About Tim Hawkinson

Tim Hawkinson's (b. 1960, San Francisco) idiosyncratic creations are meditations on nature, machines, mortality, the body and human consciousness. Since the 1980s, the artist has used common found and store-bought materials, handcrafted objects, and machines to shift familiar subject matter off-kilter, creating visual conundrums and conceits 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 ideas, materials, and an interest in transformation, Hawkinson continues to create unlikely and thought-provoking associations by transforming common materials into works of art. Hawkinson joined the Gallery in 2005.

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Press Release

  • Tim Hawkinson: New Works
    An exhibition of nine new works by Tim Hawkinson made in 2008 and 2009 from various materials ranging from eggshells and feathers to bondo and bronze will be on view at PaceWildenstein, 32 East 57th Street, New York City, from May 8 through July 24, 2009. The artist will be present at a public opening on Thursday, May 7th from 6-8 p.m. Tim Hawkinson’s idiosyncratic creations are meditations on nature, machines, mortality, the body and human consciousness. Since the 1980s, the artist has used common found and store-bought materials, handcrafted objects, and machines to shift familiar subject matter off-kilter, 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 ideas, materials, and an interest in transformation, Hawkinson continues to create unlikely and thought-provoking associations by transforming common materials into works of art. The idea for Sherpa (2008), a life-sized (52" x 77-1/2" x 31-1/2") single cylinder two-stroke engine motorcycle constructed out of eight varieties of feathers, originated from a single ostrich plume which suggested the form of a Harley Davidson gas tank to Hawkinson. Hawkinson searched for suitable feathers for cables, gears, and other details—down to the kickstand, handlebars, and headlights. He eventually selected ostrich, peacock, pheasant, turkey goose, rooster, marabou and guinea fowl. The three smallest works in the exhibition are made from eggshells. Bather (2009), measuring 7" x 3-1/2"” x 3-1/12", alludes to the iconic Venus of Willendorf (c. 24,000-22,000 B.C.), the limestone artifact considered to be one of the earliest images of the human body. And in Tuffet (2009), where the spherical shape of the hollow egg is also preserved, Hawkinson subverts the form and function of a traditionally cushion-covered low stool. The pockmarked surface of Point (2009), consisting of fragments of shattered eggshells, resembles the fossil of a prehistoric arrowhead. Underlying each of these pieces is an essential dichotomy—the spherical nature of the form, and the completeness and solidity which that implies, coexists alongside the fragility of the eggshell itself. Hawkinson’s works confront not only the palpable, corporeal aspects of human nature; he has also created pieces which explore the metaphysical facets of human consciousness and the yearning to rationalize and map the intangible forces governing the universe: Ruffle (2009), a 44" x 44" x 44" hanging sculpture made of aluminum mesh, aluminum tape, and bondo, and Track (2009), a 92" x 60" x 24" allusion to Edward N. Lorenz’s visualizations of deterministic chaos based on a mathematical model of the atmosphere constructed out of a aluminum tape, neoprene, pvc, and wire will also be on view. Other new works in the exhibition include Skinned Knee (2009), a sculpture of an oversized skinned knee and ripped blue jeans rendered five feet in height, Doy (2008), a six foot tall bronze sculpture of a boy, whose oversized hand melts into the muzzle of a dog, and Leviathon (2009), a 7' 2-1/2" x 10' x 2' 9-1/2" bronze “fossil” of a monstrous invented sea creature, upon which closer inspection reveals vertebrae composed of a line of figures rowing; its ribs, the oars. Tim Hawkinson (b. 1960, San Francisco, C.A.) received his B.F.A. from San Jose University (1984) and an M.F.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles (1989). The artist had his first solo exhibition in 1981. Hawkinson works across a wide range of media, from sculpture, installation, and painting, to photography and collage. Many of his highly original works, such as Emoter (2002), Drip (2002), Pentecost (1999), Ranting Mop Head (Synthesized Voice) (1995), and Signature (1993) 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 48th Venice Biennale (1999), the 2002 Biennial Exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Fantasy Underfoot: The 47th Biennial Exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (2003). Most recently, in 2008, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney mounted 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 was mounted at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York in 2005, which later traveled to Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Hawkinson’s Überorgan (2000), originally installed at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in 2001, was reinstalled at 590 Madison Avenue in conjunction with the Whitney Museum’s exhibition. The gargantuan self-playing organ composed of thirteen bus-sized inflated bags, played a 200-foot-long scroll of dots and dashes encoding old hymns, pop classics, and improvisational tunes. Other significant solo exhibitions include Directions: Tim Hawkinson at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., (2001) and Humongolous: Sculpture and Other Works by Tim Hawkinson, organized by The Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati and simultaneously on view at The Arnoff Center for the Arts, Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery, 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 unveiled the artist’s monumental sculpture Bear, a 180 ton, 23-1/2 foot teddy bear constructed from eight uncarved granite boulders, which will remain on view permanently. 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 PaceWildenstein in 2005. He lives and works in California. Additional information for Tim Hawkinson is available upon request by contacting Jennifer Benz Joy at jjoy@pacewildenstein.com or Lauren Staub at lstaub@pacewildenstein.com, or by calling 212.421.3292.
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