Justin Hoekstra, detail from the Pleasures of Being a Ghost: Wyoming #5, 2016, acrylic on canvas
JUSTIN HOEKSTRA: ALL HAT NO CATTLE
WHEN: May 21 - June 25, 2016. OPENING RECEPTION | SATURDAY MAY 21 | 7-10pm
WHERE: Jordan Faye Contemporary is located at 218 W Saratoga Street, top floor of the Maryland Art Place Building
ADMISSION: The gallery is free and open to the public Wednesday - Thursday 11am-6pm, Friday - Saturday 12-5pm, Sunday 1-4pm & by appointment.
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Jordan Faye Contemporary is pleased to present ALL HAT NO CATTLE, by Baltimore-based artist Justin Hoekstra. This exhibition features new paintings, many of which were created during his time as the inaugural Jordan Faye Contemporary Painting Fellow. It is his first solo exhibition with the gallery and was curated by Jordan Faye Block and Willa Frazer.
CURATOR'S STATEMENT | Without a particular referent or immediate comprehension, Justin Hoekstra's paintings pull at something - in our memories or our bodies - slightly beyond recognition. The pieces could be any number of things inside or outside of us. They are a sunset, a sidewalk, a rusty wall, the inside of closed eyelids. At points one is reminded of the passage of time, the erosion of earth, the way light and energy are emitted from objects of creation. Hoekstra is creating lyrical movements within the push & pull of color and form, and the way patterns emerge then dissipate.
From a place including and beyond visual appreciation, these works hold the viewer. Sometimes initially quiet or subtle, they tap into a deeply resonating momentum. Certain works can be jarring - colors collide and complex layers pulse out at the viewer. Others take longer - a slow burn, a quiet overtaking.
These works are magnetic. They act like meditation, or an orgasm, or crying. They seem like a circle, where grief is a form of love, abstraction creates focus, obscurity leads to clearer understanding. These paintings radiate an energy from within that is undeniably felt. They access the hum that constantly vibrates through all things. This vibration is something we are always experiencing, psychologically or emotionally, but usually on a subconscious level. Here it comes forward. We can visualize the buzz and then notice it coursing through our minds, our bodies, and out into the world.
Curators - Willa Frazer & Jordan Faye Block
ARTIST STATEMENT | ALL HAT NO CATTLE
Machines shape my work, the paintings undergo a process of accumulation and removal akin to the manner in which each of us are formed by forces at play in the reality we occupy and maintain. Work begins with the selection of a surface to which acrylic paint will be applied with brushes. After a number of layers have cured the paint is then refined using a combination of mechanical means (random orbital sander) and manual sanding. Pressure and refinement through abrasion points us towards the idea that the end result may be a shiny diamond or a lump of coal, both useful in some way, but each lacking their own meaning prior to evaluation by external systems.
The works presented here are investigations of and meditations on the value of permanence/impermanence at the dawn of the post-human era. As we approach a zone wherein the output of artists is becoming un-tethered from the limits of their corporeal form we may wonder what types of 'eyes' might be looking at these things in years to come...machine eyes...hybrid eyes. What does it mean to be making these things when human consciousness might become migratory, taking root in a series of vessels that may be durable beyond our current understanding? Deep learning by computers and A.I. systems are beginning to shift the desires of society in fascinating and subtly unpredictable ways. The foundations of meaning always change when the scale of time is radically altered. Is it possible to anticipate these potential futures and make art objects that might have value there?
The works here present some possible options. The paintings are potentially better in many practical ways than any human might ever hope to be. They will, if properly stored, outlast the humans that contributed to their creation. They do not have the capacity to be opinionated and argumentative about the conditions in which they 'exist' which I would imagine makes them easier to relate to than most humans. Long after I lose the ability to earn and amass capital the paintings should be able to participate in such activity.
With humanity poised as ever on the edge of an uncertain future, I wonder what kind of civilization we will become. Are we heading toward a dystopian civilization focused on ownership and fighting? Or will we become a practical utopia with individuals given the means to pursue whatever brings them joy? My hope is that we are moving towards the latter. To that end I make these things and hope that they might outlive me and confound the machine eyes of the future, that they might give these machines pause as they sort through the piles of human bones...
ABOUT JUSTIN HOEKSTRA
Justin Hoekstra was born in 1980 on Election Day and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. His family moved a handful of times between his 4th and 8th birthday. After leaving high school early to take classes at the College of DuPage in Illinois he became an AmeriCorps Member, working for the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago and at a Salvation Army day shelter on the weekends. He also worked across the street from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, helping to foster an interest in art. He enrolled at the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) the same year where he studied theater. After a period working and living in the suburbs with his parents he went to Burlington, Vermont to visit his older brother and decided to stay. Hoekstra worked several odd jobs in Burlington and eventually enrolled in the Community College of Vermont. He subsequently transferred to the University of Vermont to study art, graduating in 2012. He relocated to Baltimore, Maryland to pursue an MFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art (Hoffberger School of Painting) which he received in 2014. His interest in art was ignited early in life by experiences at museums throughout Chicago. He has had numerous solo exhibitions and been included in various group exhibitions as well. His work is held in both public and private collections. Hoekstra has participated in various residency programs including the Lighthouse Works and the Vermont Studio Center. In March 2016, he was in Wyoming at the Jentel Residency Program. Justin is the founding fellow of the Jordan Faye Contemporary Fellowship in Painting and currently lives and works in Baltimore, MD.
Images | Justin Hoekstra, (top) detail from the Pleasures of Being a Ghost: Wyoming #1, 2016, acrylic on canvas (middle) the Pleasures of Being a Ghost: Wyoming #5, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 29.5 x 30.5 inches, (bottom), detail from the Pleasures of Being a Ghost: Wyoming #1, 2016, acrylic on canvas