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.
New York—Pace Gallery is pleased to announce Counterclockwise, an exhibition spanning over twenty years of work from Tim Hawkinson’s multidisciplinary career and featuring a number of the artist’s most ambitious mechanized works. The exhibition will be on view from February 26 through April 23, 2016, and will inaugurate Pace’s new gallery space at 537 West 24th Street. In addition to Pace’s other New York locations, the 24th street space will present the gallery's program until the completion of a 60,0 00 square foot, multi-story, New York flagship at 540 West 25th Street in 2018. A public opening reception for Counterclockwise will be held on Thursday, February 25 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Hawkinson’s practice encompasses a diverse range of media—including sculpture, installation, painting, photography and collage. Grounded in material, experimentation and exploration, his works take common, everyday materials out of context, reinterpreting them into new and different forms. His unexpected adaptations prompt new ways of seeing the world around us.
In line with his commitment to using readily accessible materials, Hawkinson often returns to his own body as a base in the creation of forms or as a point of reference. Suspended from the ceiling, the inflated and foam-filled silicon skin in Balloon Self-Portrait #4 (1996) is made from a cast of the artist’s body. In Tagalong (2013), resin imprints of Hawkinson’s knuckles, knees and elbows abstract elements of his body, reimagining them into the plates of a four-foot tall seahorse.
The works in the exhibition underscore Hawkinson’s continuous pursuit of new processes and working methods. His kinetic sculptures are driven by an unbridled sense of inventiveness and improvisation, with results that are unlikely, playful, witty and mechanically complex. Signature (1993) translates a sense of Hawkinson’s own being into a machine, giving life to a combination of working parts that continuously pens the artist’s signature onto slips of paper. Like World Clock (2012), which uses the elements of a found medicine cabinet to indicate the time of day in different world cities, Signature records the passage of time as endorsed sheets pile onto the gallery floor.
Indicative of Hawkinson’s technical ingenuity and interest in sensory experiences, his sound machines turn banal objects into unpredictable anthropomorphic arrangements. In Ranting Mop Head (1995), a motor pushes air against a reed set onto an upturned mop to simulate the monotonous whine of an almost-human voice. Beneath the ribcage of a skeleton made from rawhide dog chews in Penitent (1994), a slide whistle repeatedly sounds, as if calling for a dog. Through unexpected adaptations and the repetition of visuals, movement and sound, the works in Counterclockwise unsettle our fixed understanding of the world, prompting new ways of seeing.
Tim Hawkinson(b. 1960, San Francisco) received a BFA from San Jose University (1984) and an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles (1989), where he studied with Charles Ray. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at international venues, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2007); Getty Center, Los Angeles (2007); Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (2001); and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams (2000). In 2005, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art hosted a major mid-career retrospective of the artist’s work.
Hawkinson has participated in significant group exhibitions, including Fantasy Underfoot: The 47th Biennial Exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (2003); the Whitney Biennial (2002); and the Venice Biennale (1999).
His work is held in numerous public collections, among them the Contemporary Museum, Honolulu; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Indianapolis Museum of Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Nevada Museum of Art, Reno; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
In 2015, Hawkinson was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for Fine Art, which recognizes artists who have demonstrated exceptional creative ability in the arts. Also in 2015, Bosun’s Bass, an outdoor installation by Hawkinson, was presented in San Francisco as the third instalment of the Exploratorium’s Over the Water series of large-scale works for the civic space at Pier 15. Hawkinson was recently commissioned by the Transbay Art Steering Committee to create the signature piece for the Transbay Transit Center on Mission Street in the heart of San Francisco. The sculpture will stand over forty feet high and will be constructed using salvaged material from the demolition of the original terminal.
This is the artist’s fifth solo exhibition at the gallery since joining Pace in 2005.
Image:Tim Hawkinson, Signature, 1993, school desk, paper, wood and metal; motorized, 37" x 28" x 24" (94 cm x 71.1 cm x 61 cm) Photo courtesy the artist © Tim Hawkinson, courtesy Pace Gallery.
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