March 2014 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Laurie Hogin: Action at a Distance
Exhibition Dates: March 29 – May 10, 2014
Reception for the Artist: Saturday, March 29, 5:00 – 7:00 pm Artist remarks: 5pm
Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Friday: 10:00 am – 5:30 pm; Saturday: 11:00 am – 5:30 pm
Koplin Del Rio Gallery is pleased to present Action at a Distance, an exhibition of new works by Chicago artist Laurie Hogin.
“Action at a Distance” refers to the phenomenon described in physics wherein objects separated by space nevertheless interact without any apparent mediating physical or mechanical agent. Hogin uses a lay description of this phenomenon to inform a philosophy of art, agency, and material existence as expressed by the languages of painting. The works in this show are explorations of the use of painting as an articulation of a consciousness (the artist) using material to record perception, activity, and memory, subject to the conditions present at the time of that action, including conditions that are unseen, unobservable, unnamable, or otherwise not able to be thoroughly understood. The images also engage with narrative imagination, which use symbolic languages such as metaphor and allegory, which undermine supposed rationality of thought and action because they obscure meaning by manifesting a signifier or symbol to represent ideas and feelings. These cognitive tendencies for making sense out of the chaos of lived experience are evident throughout visual and material culture—language orders experience, objects and images stand in for ideas and feelings, and pictures literally frame allegorical or metaphorical situations, even as they obscure latent content and give lie to notions of rationality.
The works in the show are intended to engage playfully, humorously and critically with systems of understanding and representation that are incomplete, therefore requiring an acknowledgement of mystery and a hypothesis of unseen agents or unobservable phenomena in the material world. Hogin’s paintings combine visual, conceptual and material strategies from the history of representational painting with tropes of contemporary visual culture including cinema, advertising, fashion, pornography, food photography, retail and museum display and other narrative, representational strategies. These strategies evoke stories, memories and associations in order to convey states of being and behaviors common to humans, and arguably observable in other beings as well. Such states represent the inseparability of the emotional, physical, cognitive and psychosocial aspects of lived experience.
Hogin’s topics include love, pleasure, desire, attraction, and attachment, as well as anger, obsession, addiction, violence, and grief. These aspects of human experience and identity, resultant of the interplay of evolutionary biology and language, all find expression in the schizoid array of material culture, which express the unseen and (as yet) unobservable systems of material existence and human experience within it. Her allegorical animal species, especially bunnies, monkeys, and birds, continue to figure prominently; all are symbols of common projections of “nature”, a sort of cultural shorthand. Bunnies are creatures whose being functions as a symbolic vessel for human fantasies about cuteness and the pastoral. Monkeys, as in the history of art generally, represent humans’ “animal nature”, tendencies we share with primate cousins as a result of evolutionary networks of being, and birds engage in social behaviors often compared to that of humans.
Laurie Hogin received her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her BFA from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. This is her 19th solo show and her third with Koplin Del Rio. Her work is exhibited regularly across the country and is in numerous private and public collections, including the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA, the Illinois State Museum, The United States Federal Reserve, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Brauer Museum, Valparaiso, IN, the Racine Art Museum, WI, among many others. She is currently Professor with Tenure in the Painting and Sculpture Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
For further information or photos, please contact Kimberly Clark at email@example.com.