Lucy Hodgson: Hail and Farewell: Tyrants at Play
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April 19 – May 20, 2018
Opening Reception: Fri. April 20, 6-9pm
The New York Times: What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week – by Jillian Steinhauer
SOHO20 is pleased to present Hail and Farewell: Tyrants at Play, an exhibition of new sculptures by sculptor Lucy Hodgson.
In this exhibition, Hodgson continues her work in concrete and metal pipe. Each object exudes equal parts gravity and askant whimsy, capturing what has quickly become the mood of our time. The sculptures use architectural elements that reference columns and state buildings, but at the scale of a dollhouse. They invoke images of the Temple of Bel – a site in Syria destroyed by the Taliban in 2015, and the ruins of the ancient Semitic city of Palmyra. Twisting, metal pipes emerge from some of the sculptures, as the bases of others ooze with shiny back enamel, reminiscent of oil.
Perched on top of these shrunken monuments are small, pudgy concrete hands, cast from latex gloves, a protean reference to the tiny hands currently at work dismantling the values and norms of modernity. The ambiguity of the hand in these works is both playful and disarming. They are small in size, a clear nod to the Trumpian fixation, but one is left to wonder if they are waving a somber good-bye to the vestiges of our history, saluting a new era of accelerationist absurdity, or simply a flippant reminder of their own presence. Encapsulated within this floppy gesture is also a reminder of the voting power of an single person, wholly inseparable from the potential of political manipulation. The installation as a whole mourns the destruction of Antiquity, in grimness and in humor, well summarized in the words by Stevie Smith:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.
Hail and Farewell: Tyrants at Play is part of Sculpture 56, a six-week long contemporary sculpture project held at eleven participating galleries at 56 Bogart Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
Image: Farewell to Aleppo, 2017. Concrete and Envirotek, 22 x 14 x 14 inches. Photo: Kate Milford.