Susan Hockaday: petroleum

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March 31 – April 24, 2016
Opening Reception: Fri. April 1, 6-9PM

Conversation with the Artist: Sat. April 2, 3pm



and it’s everywhere

SOHO20 is pleased to present petroleum, an exhibition of new works by member artist Susan Hockaday, consisting of line drawings on Mylar in the main gallery space, and a tightly configured installation made from disposable plastic containers in the project space.

Hockaday NEW JERSEY SUBURBSusan Hockaday, NEW JERSEY SUBURB, 2016. Drawing on Mylar, 42 x 65 inches.

In many ways, Hockaday’s new body of work begins at the beginning, formally and figuratively. Lines, delineated or mapped, supply the formal infrastructure of her drawings, which she considers to be ‘equal-opportunity spaces,’ giving no hierarchy to one particular shape over another. The subject of her imagery is the abiogenisis of the biological world, tracing consumer plastic back to it’s roots as petroleum, and even further back to its formation from zooplankton and algae. Compressing macro views of aerial photography into the same picture plane as images of microscopic organisms and silhouettes of disposable plastics, Hockaday explores the gradation in which nature becomes built environments.

Hockaday treats plastic clamshell containers with the same detail as protozoa, allowing the spaces within and between shapes to take on the characteristics of a cellular organism. Playing with the shift in scale, the elements in her work remain intrinsically related to human perspective, even as they meld into structurally demarcated abstraction. The playful but calculated nature of these works may be a simple observation of our present surroundings, but it also conjures up a questionable picture of our future.