May 12 at 5 PM, 2006
May 12 till 28, 2006
CEAC, Xiamen, China
Hosmer can be described as a contemporary naturalist, but her work has always displayed elements of surrealism and minimalism. Her dogged use of repetition and explorations of symmetry resonate with Agnes Martin’s obsession with grids. The narrative evident in her work shares, with the outdoor installations of organic materials by Andy Goldsworthy, an aspect that celebrates nature and demands that we renew our attention to it. But Hosmer’s work may have even more in common with that of John James Audubon. In it’s singularness of purpose and rejection of sentimentality. Hosmer’s depiction of animals, coupled with her arrangement of them to shape specific ideas, echo Audubon’s illustrations of birds: unrelentingly raw, sometimes beautiful, and always revealing. And like Audubon, she deals directly with the real thing, not a romanticized ideal viewed from a distance. Her work skirts the tiring political rhetoric of environmental issues and takes us to the core instead.
Although Hosmer’s sculpture always connects animals and humans; hers is not “wildlife art” by any stretch of the imagination. Yet neither is it art that exploits animals purely as media. Nor are Hosmer’s works mementi mori, reminders of mortality; her imagery is not violent or grotesque and has little if anything to do with death. And they are not partisan; Hosmer is a meat-eater who grew up hunting with her father in rural North Dakota, rooted in the reality of our relationship with animals.
Hosmer’s talent lies in the scope of the emotional responses her work evokes, sometimes simultaneously, in the viewer: Awe, discomfort, laughter, revulsion, fascination, guilt, serenity, and thoughtfulness. In this work we can see the whole cycle of life and come to recognize more surely our own place in it.
Hollis Walker, Santa Fe, NM, USA