Display Cases in the Great Hall: Exhibition Archive Timothy Hawkesworth - Wishes: Horses
February 1, 2014 - March 17, 2014
Horses are powerful, atavistic creatures, symbols of freedom, speed, and sensitive response. This exhibition of horse drawings spans two important dates connected to the imagery of Irish painter Timothy Hawkesworth: 1 February 2014 marks the beginning of the Year of the Horse, the seventh sign of the Chinese zodiac and an auspicious year recognizing the power and primal nature of the horse. The end date of the exhibition, 17 March marks Saint Patrick’s Day, named for the patron saint of Ireland, where Timothy Hawkesworth grew up on a farm and began his relationship with horses.
Hawkesworth’s horses are energetic and rapidly drawn with graphite over wax and paint on paper, moving from right to left, galloping, rearing, and walking with heads bowed, raised or thrown back in restless movement. Evoking the animal nature with figurative representations, like Susan Rothenberg’s horses from the 1970s, Hawkesworth infuses a personal vision in these drawings, and taps into a source of infinite fascination: domesticated animals that retain a wild and untamed spirit. Like Eadweard Muybridge’s early photographic studies of horses in motion, a series of these monochromatic drawings present a sequence of dramatic movement that belies their small size. Hawkesworth often speaks of the “rigor of wildness,” a sort of alignment with the core of creativity within oneself, or a spine that holds the energy and freedom of the creature in motion. His horses embody this concept with their delicate layering and gobs of paint dabbed onto a small paper support. With gestural strokes of graphite, he gives these tiny horses a physical weight on the page, adding substance to what are otherwise outlines extracted from memory, implying motion and freedom.
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There is an urgency and sense of disruption in the marks and the battered surfaces of Timothy Hawkesworth's drawings, a similar quality that is seen in the artist's paintings. The energized marks relentlessly make and unmake the images that seem to come to us as survivors rather than products of the process. One senses a meditative stillness and equilibrium which overlays the restless quality of the artist’s hand in his work.
Donald Kuspit has written that "Hawkesworth's art is about the uncanniness of suffering." In the artist's work, however, there is more evidence of the force of life. It seems to be informed by the old paradox: because death is inevitable, all human activity is futile; it is at the same time and for the same reason, heroic and deeply touching. Elizabeth Sussman has written: "Hawkesworth's art conveys a desire for painting to return to its primary concern for deep existential meaning."
Mr. Hawkesworth, who grew up in Ireland, draws heavily from his European roots. It is, as Donald Kuspit has noted, "art that is existentially and humanistically orientated. It is concerned to articulate a tragic sensibility.... Art once again engaged with trying to say what it means to be human". Educated in Trinity College Dublin, Hawkesworth has been exhibiting regularly in New York and Ireland. His work has received considerable critical attention and is in many public and private collections including the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He has exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, and the List Visual Arts Center at MIT in Cambridge, MA.
Born in Wicklow in the mid 1950s Hawkesworth graduated with a B.A. in History and Political Science from Trinity College, Dublin. He then moved to Boston where he graduated with a M.F.A. from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Tufts University, Boston, MA. Following this Hawkesworth continued to exhibit extensively in the US for the following two decades when he then returned to Ireland to take up a residency at Ballinglen Arts Foundation Fellowship, Co. Mayo, Ireland. Throughout his career Hawkesworth has also continued to give public lectures at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and currently runs a series of drawing workshops at the Norristwown Arts Building, Norristown, PA. Solo exhibitions have included Littlejohn Contemporary, New York, 2012, 2011, Taylor Galleries, Dublin 2008, Redbrick, Beverly MA, 2007, Royal Hibernian Academy, 2006. His work is held in the following collections: Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Dublin City Gallery Hugh Lane, Dublin, Anglo Irish Bank, New York, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn NY and Museum of Fine Artds, Boston, MA.