Christopher Hodges | ‘Formal’

After a small interlude of just ten years, Christopher Hodges returns to the canvas in his latest exhibition 'FORMAL'.

Opening this Saturday 2 June, Christopher Hodges presents ‘FORMAL’ a body of work that integrates sculpture and painting. This return to painting in his practice serves to further extend his examination of geometry, and its potential within two-dimensional and three-dimensional forms.

Working within a reduced palette, Hodges creates a dialogue between the different mediums. Ranging from bright florescent pink, to red ochre, white or black creates a strong display of works that compliment and enhance each other. Whilst several timber sculptures up to 3m high are left in their natural state – their commanding height is enough to hold the viewer’s attention – others use the recurring red, white and black theme, and one shocks in fluorescent pink.

Celebrating geometric forms in their most reduced state, the result is magnetic. Utilising the circle, the square, the rectangle and the rhombus in different ways, the selection of colour and form pulls the eye in different directions. Whether the eye is drawn into the rhythmic lines of the circle, or stretched across the canvas as a rhombus attempts to escape out of the paper, the viewer is drawn towards the undercurrent of movement and energy that throbs throughout the works.

Not as flat or solid as they initially appear, on closer examination the works range in transparency and depth. By layering surface washes, Hodges builds the form of each shape leaving evidence of brush strokes and the artist’s hand. This graduation of light and dark results in varying density, creating shapes that shimmer and flux with the movement of the brush strokes.

By underpainting, and layering washes, Hodges plays with the solidity and empty space that make up and surround the shape, playing form vs shadow. As he outlines in Susie Burges’ essay, “There’s a sort of trick I’m playing with visually – the silhouette has always been something that’s run through my work, for example, and I want to cause a contradiction. If it’s the silhouette of a human, you can’t tell if it’s coming towards you or running away from you, whether it’s waving hello or waving goodbye, that sort of conundrum. That’s something that appeals to my visual perception as well as my idea of how things go.”

‘Formal’ is a testament to his ongoing passion for the signs and symbols that make up the everyday, and the reintroduction of painting to this examination brings an exciting new phase for Hodges.

‘FORMAL’ | Christopher Hodges
2 June – 2 July 2016
Utopia Art Sydney

Courtesy the artist and Utopia Art Sydney.

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