• History at Bill Hodges Gallery

    Date posted: October 26, 2014 Author: jolanta
    November 6, 2014 – December 13, 2014



    New York, NY- Bill Hodges Gallery is pleased to announce that we have reopened in/at our new location at
    529 W. 20th St and that our reception thus far has been delightful. Our third exhibition, titled History, opens November 6th and will be on view through December 13th. This exhibition will feature the work of several historic and contemporary artists on a medium that is arguably the most significant to the history of art.


    Most art historians seem to think the first art images were created on cave walls.  I think, however, the first art was created in the ground dirt.  Regardless of whichever came first, it is universally established that the first art on paper was done on papyrus.  Since that point in time, artists and art educators alike continuously share the sentiment that work produced on paper is of primary importance. As we actualize our thoughts through words or action, our ideas become resistant to change. With further deliberate thought, we manifest our ideas through mediums such as canvas, clay, or stone for even more permanence. History showcases works on paper and imparts a testament to the medium.  Photographs, drawings, lithographs, serigraphs, and etchings by renowned artists Mickalene Thomas, Kehinde Wiley, Lyle Ashton Harris, Carrie Mae Weems, Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis, Jacob Lawrence, Chester Higgins, and Roy DeCarava comprise the variety of mediums and artists exhibited.


    Mickalene Thomas brings contemporary photographic style to the exhibition like none other. In a similar fashion to her rhinestone works, the work in this exhibition, Les Trois Femmes Noires, (pictured above), portrays the casual elegance of ebony skin through form, expression, and the juxtaposition of pattern. Also included is a telling drawing by iconic African American contemporary painter Kehinde Wiley, which served as a study for his work Passing Posing (The Martyrdom of St Symphorian). Wiley’s work often plays on the statuesque figures depicted in classical painting; for this work, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’ The Martyrdom of St Symphorian provides the foundation in which Wiley expounds upon in a work of art entirely of its own respect.


    The way in which African-American artists have influenced one another, in turn influencing those who come after, is also considered in the curation of this exhibition. Minstrel, a striking photograph created during 1987 and 1988 by Lyle Ashton Harris, commands attention and is about as “in your face” as a photograph can get. Moreover, the late Roy DeCarava‘s photograph Untitled (Man with Portfolio), while far less confrontational, still manages to permeate the viewer with its heaviness.


    Jacob Lawrence‘s artwork is impactful both when examined individually and within the context of art history. Included in this exhibition is a distinctive example of his work, a well-documented drawing, Children at Play (ca.1955). This is a work notably created during a period in between the making of some of Lawrence’s most influential works, evidencing his varying methods of process. Also, a monoprint from Romare Bearden‘s distinguished Jazz Series (1979), entitled Introduction for a Blues Queen (Uptown at Savoy, is the original used to print the entirety of the sequence, as confirmed by the Bearden Foundation and the ink on the back of the work.


    The Bill Hodges Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of 529 W. 20th Street between 10th Avenue and 11th Avenue. Our closest subways stations are at 14th St. & 8th Ave. (A-C-E-L) and 23rd St. & 8th Ave. (C-E). Gallery Hours are Tuesday to Friday 10am – 6pm and Saturday 12:30pm – 5:30pm. Press viewings can be arranged. For more information or to arrange a viewing, please contact Bill or Navindren Hodges at (212) 333-2640 or via email at info@billhodgesgallery.com.

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