Arcade is pleased to present its first exhibition in Brussels by Clive Hodgson (UK. 1953). Recent paintings are exhibited alongside sculptural works by his friend and peer B. Wurtz (US. 1948), placing distinct but parallel practices together for the first time. The pairing reveals a relationship that exists, not only between the artists but their particular approaches to art-making; albeit from the different disciplines of painting and sculpture.
Hodgson first rose to prominence in the UK in the 1980s with a body of figurative painting but has since sought to deconstruct compositions to their pictorial component parts. Recent works feature primary colour, minimal lines, both gestural and printed marks, pure abstraction and decorative devices. Each boldly incorporates both his name and the year in which they were produced, being thus less abstractions but rather exercises (perhaps reminiscent of 19th century, cross-stiched samplers). His practice has been compared to that of painters as widely diverse as On Kawara (for its dates and dutiful discipline) and with Raoul De Keyser (for its informal lyricism). Each painting appears as a bold experiment on a large white ground – at once casual and yet deliberate, rigorous and yet playful.
B. Wurtz makes work from a similar position of experience and experiment but from a different tradition and different continent. Whilst Hodgson quotes and recycles motifs, styles and flourishes, Wurtz recycles objects. Ephemeral materials such as ribbons, buttons, plastic bags and shoelaces are repurposed for their colour and form. Taking the same approach to sculpture as Hodgson does to painting his constructions are pared down to what are at once awkward and yet perfectly balanced, three-dimensional compositions.
Clive Hodgson (1953, UK) studied at St. Martin’s School of Art, London, UK (1971-72), the Slade School of Art, London, UK (1972-77) and in 1998 he was awarded the residency at the British School at Rome. Recent exhibitions include: Pericolante, Arcade (virtual exhibition) curated by Luca Bertolo (2020); Fieldwork, curated by Merlin James, 42 Carlton Place, Glasgow, UK (2020); Ordinary Reality, Palazzo de’ Toschi, Bologna, IT curated by Davide Ferri (2020); The Electrician’s Nightmare, Tatjana Pieters Gallery, Ghent, BE (2019); Still Life, Arcade, London, UK (2019).
B. Wurtz was born in 1948 in Pasadena, California, and lives and works in New York. He opened a major solo exhibition This Has No Name at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in 2018 while simultaneously presenting his first public commission, Kitchen Trees, through the New York City Public Art Fund. In 2015 he was the subject of a retrospective exhibition at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, United Kingdom. In 2016 the exhibition traveled to La Casa Encendida, Madrid. He has had additional solo exhibitions at Kunstverein Freiburg; White Flag Projects, St. Louis; and Gallery 400, University of Illinois at Chicago. His work has been included in group exhibitions at MoMA PS1, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon.