First Independent Gallery
Bergamot Station G6
2525 Michigan Avenue Santa Monica, CA  90404
tel: 310.829.0345  fax: 310.829.7612
email: fig@figgallery.com
Wed-Sat, 11-5 & by appointment


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CURTIS HOEKZEMA
September 4 - October 5, 2013


"The Daughters of Memory shall become the Daughters of Inspiration."
  - William Blake

Recent Work

These last few years have been spent working, primarily, on "studio paintings," as contrasted with the plein-air work that has principally occupied me in the past.  This has meant becoming increasingly involved in the use of remembered experience as source material. Visual memories have been triggered and guided by random sketches, old and new, sketches done in the field, in the car, on the street, in my garden, and some done during my various travels.
     
It is an oft-stated fact that to attempt to verbally explain visual truths is inevitably an exercise in frustration, and as such it is something of an embarrassment to the artist who attempts such an endeavor.  However what I can say is that there seems to be an almost spiritual elevation that comes with painting and that it is this that keeps me at it.  Matisse wrote of an "almost religious awe toward life."  Of course, it all means nothing if not borne out in the experience of looking at the paintings themselves.  Someone once asked me what I hoped might be the experience of someone looking at my work. I replied, half joking, "Total Mindlessness."  Maybe it isn't so much of a joke, since I think that when on giving oneself over to the aesthetic emotion there can be a kind of washing away of distractions, delusions, the limitations of time and space, the distinctions between "you" and "it," a sense of an opening up toward something better, maybe even toward something great.
     
I would speak of some matters regarding studio practice. I have felt a particular sense of freedom in working with acrylic on paper.  Paper seems well suited to acrylic paints.  I can start with a casual idea and then see it become something more and more worthy of continued and concentrated effort. If I wish to revise a piece, which is often the case, it is easily done.  If I wish to change the dimensions of a piece, working with paper allows me that option. I have not abandoned the other media however.  I have concurrently worked in oils, transparent watercolor, gouache, and have had the happy experience of having one medium generate ideas from one work to another.
   
It is quite apparent in my work that there is an emphasis on high contrasts and a kind of graphic clarity. I think this may be the result of various influences, aside from, but linked to, my innate desire for definition. The light of Southern California, where I was born and where I have spent almost my entire life, is strong; the shapes and shadows that we see here are bold and flattened. I have had a longstanding interest in Japanese graphics with their pure economy. In my earlier years as a painter I was given to believe in the great value of the revelatory gesture as evidenced in Asian Ink Painting, California Watercolors, and the work of the Abstract Expressionists.   I was also taken with the graphic force of Pop Art, if not so much with its emotional detachment. 
      
At this point in my career I feel a gratifying sense of having been able to bring my many diverse and broad ranging interests together in the pieces currently on exhibit. There is more to conjoin, more to include, more to feel, more to construct, more to see. 

   
 Curtis Hoekzema 2013

Joshua, 2010, acrylic on paper, 67 x 38"
Joshua,
2010, acrylic on paper, 67 x 38"

 

Jumper, 2013, acrylic on paper, 76 x 58"
Jumper, 2013, acrylic on paper, 76 x 58"

 


Naiad, 2013, acrylic on paper, 80 x 38"
Naiad,,
2013, acrylic on paper, 80 x 38"

 

 

 
       

 

Hummer, 2013, acrylic on paper, 29 x 18"
Hummer, 2013, acrylic on paper, 29 x 18"

Ca’ Dandolo,, 2013, acrylic on board, 30 x 20"
Ca’ Dandolo,, 2013, acrylic on board, 30 x 20"
 
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First Independent Gallery • Bergamot Station G6 • 2525 Michigan Avenue • Santa Monica, CA  90404
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