EXCERPTS FROM A FADING BLOOM
September 11, 2015 - November 1, 2015
Excerpts from a Fading Bloom is a solo exhibition by local Chicago sculptor, Jason Hawk. The exhibition opens to the public with an artist’s reception on Friday, September 11th from 6-10PM.
Excerpts from a Fading Bloom is a collection of work by Jason Hawk that examines the developing layers of our society. The sculptural landscapes he creates expose a layered civilization, an evolving cultural dialog built upon once powerful objects that are abandoned for the next glittering status symbol. Hawk finds beauty in the crumbling ruins that were once deemed the pinnacle of our society—museums, nightclubs and shopping malls all fractured and decayed, defaced by bad graffiti—a cultural battleground where ideas and movements wrestle for dominance.
Jason Hawk explains, “In all of my work there are captured moments of allegory and cultural discourse. The work is almost always wrapped in the shell of beauty that’s hiding some sickening inevitability or truth. Like a milk dud: candy on the outside, poison on the inside.”
Excerpts from a Fading Bloom is a selection of work from multiple series that reveal elements of a greater cultural narrative. The “Blackout” series utilizes the foundations of art history with signifiers of decadence and status to remix a new semblance of meaning. The “blackout” application strips these emblems of their pretension and pomp, allowing the viewer to look at the work objectively. Hawk further engages a dialogue on class and status by departing from his repertoire of chrome and bronze finishes in favor of mundane materials such as plastic and foam. Similarly, the “Junk Piles” series is formed with discarded parts of culture that creates a caricature of the disposable nature of our collective behavior. The sculptures are formed with a rotational casting technique found in mass produced plastic goods that reinforces the blind folly of our society.
However, Hawk believes that the “Fabricated Landscapes” series is his most important to date because it’s where he initially discovered his conceptual voice. The “Fabricated Landscapes” combine simplified forms with elements of allegory and archetypal themes to create a foundation for personal narrative. Wrapped in layers of hidden meaning, these sculptures function as definitive statements while providing clues for the viewer to formulate a narrative of their own. “Fabricated Landscapes” are self-referential sculptural snapshots of the cultural zeitgeist. They play on the dichotomy of opposites and are heavily wrapped up in the American Dream and where it may have gone wrong.
Excerpts from a Fading Bloom runs September 11 – November 1 and is curated by Assistant Director Scott Renfro.
Jason Hawk is a Chicago based sculptor who was born and raised in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. After years spent working in paint and intaglio printing, he enrolled at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007. Early in his pursuit of a BFA, he found that he had an affinity for sculptural metal work and devoted his studies to gaining technical proficiency. In 2010, Hawk and a few colleagues started Red Gate Studios, an artist’s collective and fabrication space in the heart of Logan Square. Jason Hawk has shown extensively throughout Chicago and the Mid-West, in such venues as Art Chicago, Expo Chicago, The Contemporary Art Center of Peoria and the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh. Hawk has also shown in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Colorado and has work in the permanent collections of the Anderson Center for the Arts, the Peoria Public Library and the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.