In addition to consulting services for public and private collections, Hodges Taylor Art Consultancy organizes special exhibitions and events in our office and private gallery space. Our vision for the space is to cultivate collaboration, curiosity and conversation around art, as has been at the core of our business since opening our doors in 1980. The space features exhibitions throughout the year and be available to the community for private and public events.
Hodges Taylor Art Consultancy is open on Saturdays from 11-4 and by appointment.
Inquiries? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently on view
cusp: photographs of contemporary girlhood
BY CAROLYN DEMERITT AND MARGARET STRICKLAND
The girl as a referent in photography traces arguably from Lewis Carroll’s coquettishly Victorian Alice to Nabokov’s postwar scandalous innocent, Lolita, to Francesca Woodman’s grit and gumption of the 1970’s to Collier Schorr’s androgynous adolescence of the 1990’s, when a noted trend of the girl as subject emerged in contemporary photography. As scholar Dr. Catherine Grant states, “Rather than simply replaying stereotypes of femininity, the figure of the girl has been used by many contemporary artists to question the stability of sexual and gendered identity.” Thus, girlhood serves as a place where strict constructions of gender and sexuality find little refuge. As gender theorist Judith Butler suggests, “Gender is a kind of imitation for which there is no original.” Girlhood as subject becomes an allegorical lens through which to expand the discourse on gender.
Created nearly thirty years apart, Carolyn DeMeritt and Margaret Strickland’s poised portraits of girlhood commingle to create a site of encounter between gender identity, gender performance and the tensions therein. From her 1986 to 1990 series, “When I Was Little…I Thought I Could Fly”, DeMeritt photographed her close friend’s daughters in backyards of family homes, each year, as they grew from childhood to girlhood. Taken in 2016, Strickland’s portraits documenting her three nieces, two of whom are twins, are set against the background of cicada nights and hot, humid summer days, and seek to understand how girls’ identities are influenced by southern cultural norms, an inherited femininity, and broader gendered expectations. In photographing friends and family, the girls’ statures reflect a realm of comfort and shared female identity in their relationship with the artist, with the camera, and in turn with us, as after the fact voyeurs. DeMeritt and Strickland’s girls are on the cusp, between girlhood and womanhood, but also on the cusp of forgetting that place where for a fleeting moment, at least according to the outside world, we were all a work-in- progress.
Previously on view
David Halliday and Margie Stewart.
David Halliday's color photographs represent an intimately balanced, yet unexpected, take on the traditional genre of the still life. Halliday states, “The point of my work is to show that the borders between life and art are blurry. Things come out of the market, the garden and the kitchen cabinet. It’s often happenstance.” His home is a laboratory for visual encounters that have no boundaries, despite the control of his captured images. His compositional directive behind the lens animates the odd couplings of subjects. Halliday makes the common look uncommon. In his Portal series, he commemorated and indexed objects hoarded by an elderly Nantucket fisherman neighbor. The patina of everyday use of the fisherman’s tools, as well as this elemental and pre-industrial way of life, inspired Halliday. As a former resident of New Orleans, he found these weathered, water-centric objects took on a new meaning as the nation experienced the trauma surrounding the environmental disaster of the BP oil spill in 2010.
Margie Stewart's still life paintings distill her observations of the domestic and natural world to its essence through a concentration on mark-making and the physicality of paint. Stewart finds inspiration in simple, yet beautiful, objects that transcend their pure function. Stewart’s process starts with small studies of objects such as cups, flowers and fruit in her home, which doubles as her studio, until she finds the right color and composition. She relishes painting in solitude in an effort to envision her work coming to fruition in full-scale. Her intimate vignettes of familiar household objects take a turn towards abstractionism and come alive through her brushstrokes. Stewart’s enjoyment of painting embodies a quote she loves by mythologist Joseph Campbell: “Sacred space and sacred time and something joyous to do is all we need. Almost anything then becomes a continuous and increasing joy.”