Collage Materials: Jim Hodges

A close-up of Jim Hodges’ ‘Every Touch’, a breathtaking curtain of hundreds of artificial flowers meticulously sewn together.on view in “Secret Garden”, Perelman Building

Jim Hodges, “Every Touch,” (detail) 1995

Jim Hodges does a lot with flowers.  Also mirrors, granite, scarves, and, oh yeah, paper.  The results are magical and exhilarating. Also fragile and sorrowful. In many of his works, a collage aesthetic is at play.

'Untitled' (2000) by Jim Hodges

Jim Hodges, Untitled, 2000. Acrylic on newspaper, 56 x 68.6 cm. Courtesy the artist.
Artlicks via Another Mag.

Paper was the first material that fascinated him. He talked about it during his 2009 exhibition Love, Etc. at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in an interview with Christophe Ecoffet.  Hodges liked “the flexibility of paper, how paper can tear, and be unfolded and folded.”  In one work, he collaged hearts cut from painted newspaper.

Jim Hodges, “Changing Things” Jim Hodges,1997, Silk, plastic, wire and pins (342 parts)

“From there it expanded to other materials that attracted me,” said Hodges.  He’s used silk flowers in various ways.  For the work Every Touch, he ironed the petals flat and sewed them together.  For Changing Things, he took apart silk and plastic flowers and pinned 342 petals and leaves individually to the wall.

Jim Hedges - Great Event - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Jim Hodges, “Great Event,” detail, 1999 (Photo by J R Compton)

“Materials draw my attention,” says Hodges. Especially everyday materials.  “Then I wait for the material to give information on how to access it.”

He was drawn to mirrors for a long time, not knowing what to do with them in his art.  It was only when he broke the mirror that he understood how to use it.  In his art,  the broken mirror is a kind of collage whose original unity is present.

Jim Hodges, “A Diary of Flowers (In Love)” 1996

Christine Wong Yap writes, “Hodges’ work can be luminous or colorful, and suggestive of pleasure or happiness, but it is also characterized by themes of death and fragility.”

Many earlier works dealt with AIDS.  In A Diary of Flowers, he used paper napkins as the support for daily drawings in pen.  Pinned to the gallery wall, the material looked like the leaves of a very delicate book, a book of moments.

Jim Hodges, With the Wind, 1997, scarves, thread, 90x99x5 inches. Collection of Penny Cooper and Rena Rosenwasser. Source: Hodges, Jim, Ian Berry, Ron Platt, and Allan Schwartzman. 2003. Jim Hodges. Saratoga Springs, N.Y.: Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College.

Jim Hodges, “With the Wind,” 1997 Scarves, thread, 90x99x5 inches. Collection of Penny Cooper and Rena Rosenwasser.

These works remind me of poems by the Portuguese poet, Eugénio de Andrade, such as “Crystallizations” (translated by Alexis Levitin):

“…How can we blossom
under the weight of so much light…

I am passing through:
I love the ephemeral.”

Jim Hodges, Untitled (2012)

Jim Hodges, Untitled (2012)

On the other hand, Hodges’ more recent work, inspired by travel in India, started with boulders and shiny metal foil in pink, blue, gold, and lavender.  A current show at the Dallas Museum of Art shows the wide-ranging forms his art has taken: check it out here!  Read “Jim Hodges and the Eros of Everyday” here.

Image Credits:  1)  Every touch  2) Untitled (hearts) 3) Changing Things

4) Great Event   5)  Diary of Flowers   6) With the Wind   7)  Untitled (boulders)


One thought on “Collage Materials: Jim Hodges

  1. Pingback: 120: Perspectives – From City Life to City Laugh. | Almofate's Likes

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