The Proposition is pleased to present Spiderwort, the second solo show of New York artist Allison Hawkins.
“Spiderwort is the name of a wildflower. My mom always pointed it out growing up in Missouri. I liked that it grew on the prairie. I always liked that such a sweet flower had such an odd name.”
Hawkins’ intimate ink and watercolor paintings speak from a place where nostalgic memories and fanciful visions merge. The striking figures and landscapes blur the line between history and remembrance, creating its own unique experience. These dreamscapes are seen through a lens of childlike awe that imagines a time when nature was left untouched.
A strong kinship exists between animals and humans in Hawkins’ world, where the paintings serve to imbue the creatures with wisdom and guidance. This relationship is evident in Friends where two floating faces, one human, the other beastly, transmogrify feelings of fear and aggression into form and identity. Upon closer inspection their role is similar to masks, signifying premonitions with their lingering expressions and dripping silhouettes.
This eerie, sometimes lonesome quality is often present in Hawkins’ work, incurring thoughts of mortality and escape.
In Hidden House, the horses that roam the land become mystical, their billowing blue plumes the only shots of color in the otherwise bleak scene. They ensure protection of the small haven from the swallowing darkness that surrounds. The artist’s delicate brushstrokes and washes of color further evoke the wistful quality in these works. What grounds the imagery is the ink drawings, of fauna and other details that hover and define the landscapes.
Hawkins’ own recollection of her Midwestern roots combine with historical points of reference to create a distinctly contemporary narrative. The viewer is left engaged in a youthful longing to retreat to their own refuge, where one can explore quietly without taming.
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February 1 - March 8, 2007