Where: Karma, 188 & 172 East 2nd Street New York NY 10009
When: 8 January - 28 February 2021
Karma is pleased to present the first New York solo exhibition of Reggie Burrows Hodges.
Hodges creates paintings centered on the human form, imbuing his subjects with the mystery and significance of remembered scenes or recollected stories. Hodges begins a painting by laying down a matte black ground, circumscribing the contours of his figures in passages of acrylic and pastel. Leaving the faces and other individualizing features of his silhouetted subjects largely undefined, they emerge through the hazy, soft-focus environments that Hodges builds from the ground up with painterly brushwork in luminous palettes. Some of Hodges’ protagonists are physically active while others exert themselves through attentive contemplation, conveying a feeling of cinematic drama realized through his uniquely painted vision.
In the ‘On the Verge’ paintings, a lone figure on a unicycle enacts dramas of balance—both physiological and compositional. Requiring tremendous skill and constant motion to ride, the unicyclist in these works serves as a metaphor for the complexity of navigating the world with attention and immediacy. Traversing through varied environments, each canvas in the series suggests different stages of a metaphorical journey.
Hilton Als observes that the figures created by Hodges “are made sharper, and more haunting, not because we see those things in their eyes, we see it in their bodies, their postures, the endless desire for humans not to be alone, and to connect. To that Hodges adds all that wonderful blackness.” Blackness in Hodges’ paintings operates on the level of form as well as a visual metaphor, opening up questions of identity within his explorations of representation, presence, and our relationships with the physical and cultural spaces we occupy. Hodges’ works benefit from close, careful looking, one that reveals conceptual relationships between recollection and reality; between people and systems they inhabit; between juxtaposed swatches of color.
Born in Compton, California in 1965, Reggie Burrows Hodges lives and works in Lewiston, Maine. He is a 2020 recipient of the annual Joan Mitchell Painters & Sculptors Grant. As the 2019 recipient of the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation Fellowship in the Visual Arts, Hodges will be the subject of a solo exhibition at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockland, Maine in 2022.