Tim Hawkinson: Tantric Drip Drawings opens July 20
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Issue no. 13

Tim Hawkinson

Tim Hawkinson, Horus, 2020, India ink on Yupo paper, 84 x 56 inches; HOS 15127
Tantric Drip Drawings
On view at Hosfelt Gallery July 20 - August 29

The word tantra, Sanskrit for “loom” or “weave,” is a metaphor for Hindu and Buddhist spiritual practices that bring together rituals, texts and teachings to guide understanding of the universe and a person’s place within it.
Tim Hawkinson, Ovex, 2020, India ink on Yupo paper, 84 x 56 inches; HOS 15032
To create this group of large-scale drawings, Tim Hawkinson constructed an apparatus that functions in much the same way as a tattooist’s needle. Large sheets of paper are mounted on a turntable fixed flat to the wall. Using his contraption, he applies India ink to the paper and allows it to run in straight lines. He then rotates the paper and repeats the process from different angles to construct complex geometric forms that bulge and bend across the picture plane — despite the absence of any curved lines.
Hawkinson making Valival
Click Here to Watch Hawkinson's Process
Hawkinson with his homemade tool
Many are uncannily tiki-like — stylized and fetishistic representations of the human body. Others evoke the geometry and optical effects of Islamic tiling or American quilts. Each, constructed though the ritualistic buildup of lines, is a token of Hawkinson’s idiosyncratic practice.

Click here to see images of more work from this exhibition.
To view the exhibition in person and privately, please make an appointment here: calendly.com/hosfelt-gallery or you may call the gallery at 415-495-5454.
Tim Hawkinson, Ooluflai, 2020, India ink on Yupo paper, 60 x 40 inches; HOS 14987

In the Studio

Postcard of Neolithic Venus statue stuck in fingers of an untitled sculpture, 2019
Thumbsucker, 2015/2019; Three untitled sculptures, 2018
Extension cord woven into the form of a bikini top, 2016
Bather (Moby Dick), 2018
"There are certain recurring interests in my work and ways of looking at things, maybe having to do with the way I get ideas and the way ideas are formed—really obvious categories. The first thing that I think of is the human form and using my own body as the reference point—ways of depicting and referring to that, and “re-looking” at that through different eyes. There are also pieces that deal with time and the way we process time and are aware of it. There are mechanical interests and kinetic work, a fascination with moving parts—just the magic of seeing this kind of animation and making it happen. But then, I also like to keep a dialogue going with drawing and some painting and these weird, quirky drawings that I kind of fall upon occasionally. A lot of times different interests overlap. For some of the drawings, I’ll make a mechanical device that will help in making the drawing, and stuff like that.

"Each piece and each direction have an approach. They’re not really rules. They’re more sorts of parameters or a process—a way of filtering out other things that aren’t really concerned with the idea I’m working with—and, I guess, by a strict adherence to the process, it creates a certain distortion. But it’s also what art is—the distillation of the idea. What I’m shooting for is just to stick with whatever that idea is and play it out till it’s totally this pure form." —Tim Hawkinson for Art21, September 2003

In the Home of Tim Hawkinson & Patty Wickman

Stuffed figure made by Hawkinson and his daughter, Clare with an anonymous painting
Ceramics by Hawkinson's daughter, Clare
Nyckelharpa (Swedish bowed instrument)
Top: Painting by Patty Wickman; Everything else: thrift store finds

An Artwork Explained

Tim Hawkinson, Thumbsucker, 2015/2019, urethane;
Globe dimensions: 40 x 40 x 40 inches; Figure dimensions: 11 x 6 x 4 inches; installation dimensions variable
Despite scientific understanding of the vastness of the cosmos, and perhaps because we have yet to encounter more intelligent life forms, humans tend to interpret the universe from a position of centrality. Hawkinson’s work is compelling because he exploits that proclivity, using the human body—most often his own—to point out our presumptions and hubris. Thumbsucker, a crater-pocked moon made of casts of the artist’s puckered lips with a space-walking astronaut made from casts of his thumb and fingers, pokes fun at our self-importance by equating our efforts to explore and understand the nature of the universe to baby steps.
Tim Hawkinson, Thumbsucker, 2015/2019 (detail), urethane;
Globe dimensions: 40 x 40 x 40 inches; Figure dimensions: 11 x 6 x 4 inches; installation dimensions variable

In the Shop

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus Limited Edition Artist Book Collaboration published by Arion Press
In 2019, Arion Press published a limited edition of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein which features nine illustrations by Tim Hawkinson and an introduction by Todd Hosfelt. These ink drip drawings were the precursor to the work in his current exhibition.
View in Shop
Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus Limited Edition Artist Book Collaboration published by Arion Press

We Recommend

San Jose Museum of Art
50x50: Stories of Visionary Artists from the Collection
Featuring Tim Hawkinson

"I use my image or my body in a lot of the work as a jumping-off point. But usually the end result is so abstracted that I don’t really feel so identified with it any longer. It’s not about my identity. . . it’s about our identity and our experiences within our bodies, and our bodies’ relationship to the external world." —Tim Hawkinson
Tim Hawkinson, Scout, 2006-2007, cardboard, box strapping and urethane foam, 69 1/2 x 103 x 68 inches;
San José Museum of Art. Gift of the Lipman Family Foundation, 2013.12.
Hosfelt Gallery is located at 260 Utah St, between 15th & 16th streets. Wheelchair accessible entrance at 255A Potrero Avenue. For more information call 415.495.5454 or visit hosfeltgallery.com.

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