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.
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.
Concurrent: Tim Hawkinson at Nyehaus