Pace Galleries

Tim Hawkinson

How Man is Knit

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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: How Man is Knit
    PaceWildenstein is pleased to present Tim Hawkinson’s first solo exhibition on view from May 3 through June 9, 2007 at 545 West 22nd Street in New York City. Tim Hawkinson: How Man is Knit, features new pieces made from a range of materials such as photo collage, urethane foam on panel, slide whistles, motors, aluminum foil, polyester fabric, drive belts, cardboard boxes, and mixed media. A full color catalogue with an essay by John Yau accompanies the exhibition. How Man is Knit also coincides with Hawkinson’s current exhibition of five new works at The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Zoopsia: New Works by Tim Hawkinson (through September 9, 2007) and Tim Hawkinson: Sculpture at Nyehaus, 15 Gramercy Park South (through June 16, 2007). Public receptions for the artist will be held on the evening of Wednesday, May 2nd from 6-8pm at PaceWildenstein, 545 West 22nd Street, and at Nyehaus to celebrate Tim Hawkinson: Sculpture from 7-9pm at 15 Gramercy Park South. As with all groups of Tim Hawkinson’s work, the connection between each piece can be tenuous, yet in this exhibition, How Man is Knit, the themes are considerably more evident than usual. As John Yau states in his catalogue essay, “None of these things is out of the ordinary, but what the artist makes them become, often through such simple means as weaving, piling, and stringing together, is viscerally and visually startling. His work is capable of stirring up our most inchoate feelings, those primal anxieties we cannot quite put a name to, and most often choose to ignore.” While the Getty group is entitled “Zoopsia”, or animal-based hallucination, clearly living up to its name, the work PaceWildenstein will exhibit revolves around systems of sense perception and organized mechanically around matrixes or network-like systems. The Sensory theme is typified by objects as divergent as Head Plant, a bouquet of sense organs on stalks reminiscent of esophagi and ear canals, and Scout made from cardboard, box strapping, and urethane foam to form a “Buck Skin” outfit designed for a 6 foot tall sensory homunculus, the grotesquely distorted textbook depiction of a human used to illustrate the density of sensory nerves in different parts of the body. Seen throughout the exhibition, the systems of networks are best demonstrated by the Klein Basket. Here the artist applied newly acquired basket weaving skills to the unlikely task of fashioning a “Klein Bottle”, a kind of three-dimensional Mobius strip where, Felix Klein, the late 19th century mathematician, explained, the inside and the outside of a volume could be made contiguous by twisting the form through fourth dimensional space. In practice, Hawkinson’s version made of bamboo strips and mounted on gimbals to allow it to turn through two axes becomes a sort of hand-made screensaver, occupying space in the real world. Like the Klein Bottle, these themes and systems fold through the exhibition, asserting themselves differently in each work, yet maintaining a general direction for the artist’s inquiry. PaceWildenstein and Tim Hawkinson would like to thank Doug Harvey, L.A. Weekly writer, for creating the anagram “How Man is Knit” for the exhibition title. Tim Hawkinson (b. 1960) was born in San Francisco, California. He has a BFA from San Jose State University (1984), and an MFA from the University of California at Los Angeles (1989). He has continued to live in Los Angeles ever since, participating in more than 60 group shows and exhibiting in more than 30 solo exhibitions throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. In addition to the current exhibition at the Getty, Hawkinson was the subject of a retrospective organized by curator Lawrence Rinder in 2005. The exhibition was on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art and later the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney is currently planning a major exhibition set to open in December 2007. Tim Hawkinson’s work can be seen in numerous public collections throughout the United States including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; UBS Art Collection, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Stuart Collection at the University of California, San Diego. The Stuart Collection commissioned the artist’s 2002 large-scale sculpture Bear; a 180 ton, 23-1/2 ft teddy bear created from eight uncarved granite boulders which will remain on permanent view. Additional information for Tim Hawkinson: How Man is Knit is available upon request by contacting Jennifer Benz Joy, Public Relations Associate, at 212.421.3292 or via email at
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John Yau

2007. PaceWildenstein. Paperback

35 color illustrations



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