Press Release

The Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea in Santiago de Compostela, Spain is proud to present Jim Hodges: this line to you, an exhibition of the work of American artist, Jim Hodges, from 19 October 2005 – 9 January 2006. Coming of artistic age in the early 90s, Hodges eschewed the irony and cynicism that prevailed in much of the art of the 80s and helped usher in a new era in art making that embraced beauty, intimacy and sincerity. Humming with soul, his works are sourced in his own life even as they open onto the universality of human experience. Organized by New York-based, independent curator, Susan Harris, Jim Hodges: this line to you brings together 22 definitive works in order to explore the diversity and interconnectedness of an oeuvre that resists categorization or signature style. The exhibition highlights Hodges’ well-known napkin, web and flower pieces as well as forays into other media that correspond to a journey of cultivating a personal vision and a facility for expressing it in disparate material languages. His ongoing experimentation is represented at CGAC in drawing, painting, sculpture, video, mirror, glass, photography, gold leaf, light bulbs, scarves, words—media and materials that serve his uncompromising commitment to process. The context for this line to you is Santiago de Compostela, a legendary pilgrimage destination since the 9th century discovery there of relics of the Apostle and martyr, St. James—a city whose light, shadows and mystical aura are in keeping with qualities in Hodges’ work. The light-filled museum and adjacent 13th century church are the specific settings for works that are revealed anew along with their maker in a complex rhythm of overlapping and intersecting paths. As contrasting yet complimentary settings for Hodges’ art, the contemporary art museum and the medieval church underscore and illuminate the dualities inherent in the contents of the exhibition itself—of light and dark, of private and public, of hidden and exposed, of natural and artificial, of ethereal and material, of visual and textual, of abstract and representational. Drawing is at the heart of Hodges’ practice and the exhibition. Sourced in the core of his being, it is a fundamental activity that manifests itself in a multitude of forms. He shares with artist-poet Richard Tuttle a reliance on drawing as a habitual preoccupation involving vigilant observation and a belief in drawing as the realm in which ideas are born and grow. Tuttle’s liberation of drawing from timeworn concepts of line, surface, color and space helped pave the way for Hodges’ own investigations that start with drawing and include painting, sculpture, collage, photography, poetry, sound, installation and video. Their mutual, expansive conception of drawing is reliant upon an active partnership with the materials of their art that, in turn, optimizes the power and breadth of expression in the work. Sustaining poetic insights, an openness to materials, and an active engagement with viewers, Hodges’ art is accessible to a wide public even as it springs from a personal quest for greater understanding of the natural world, the culture, humanity and his self. Jim Hodges: this line to you is occurring at an ideal moment in Hodges’ career as the work continues to evolve in eloquent forms and directions, and is recognized by a growing international audience as an intricate, elusive and potent expression that speaks of personal and universal truths. The show will be accompanied by a fully illustrated publication designed in collaboration with the artist. It will include a text by the curator that will examine Hodges’ art and art-making practices in light of the personal and external forces with which his output is inextricably bound. It will also feature a fiction and essay by the renowned American novelist and essayist, Lynne Tillman. Susan Harris is a curator and writer of contemporary art. She has a Master’s Degree in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Her recent curatorial projects include a Nancy Spero exhibition at the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea as well as two Richard Tuttle exhibitions at the MuseuSerralves in Porto, Portugal and at Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea, respectively. She authored the publications that accompanied these exhibitions– Nancy Spero: Weighing the Heart Against a Feather of Truth and Richard Tuttle: Memento/cENTER. Prior to this she was a curator of The American Century: 1950-2000 at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She is a contributing writer for Art in America. Susan Harris, NYC, June 2005