Solo Exhibition on View at the Addison Beginning September 1
Hayes Prize 2023: Reggie Burrows Hodges, Turning a Big Ship—the artist’s first solo exhibition at a collecting institution—will present a new suite of nearly two-dozen paintings completed in 2022 and 2023, ranging from the monumental to the intimately scaled. This new body of work centers around the motifs of the sloop and the sea captain, engaging with and expanding the tradition of maritime painting. Masts and sails morph into female forms, stewarding and navigating vessels through uncertain waters. Here, using his distinctive formal approach, the artist contemplates the notion of turning a big ship, of marshalling collective will and labor to resist a powerful current.
In earlier work, Hodges has captured glimpses into intimate, personal histories, rendering quiet scenes of community or solitude in soft focus, as if filtered through the hazy lens of memory. With this new subject, the artist casts his gaze on a broader narrative: as the poet Derek Walcott writes, “the sea is History.” This history—one of both exploration and exploitation—forms yet another ground for the paintings, surfacing as clearly as his signature black underpainting. At the same time, the paintings are oriented toward the future: to redirect the ship requires the collective embrace of possibility and change. Sponsored by the Addison Artist Council and AAC Founders Alison Beaumont Hoeven ’83; Nicholas ’94 and Sasha Olney; and Sarah ‘83 and Nathanael ‘83 Worley, the exhibition will be on view from September 1 to December 31, 2023. Additional support has been provided by the Winton Family Fund and the Edward E. Elson Artist-in-Residence Fund.
Hodges is the inaugural recipient of the Addison Artist Council’s Bartlett H. Hayes, Jr. Prize and his exhibition is the first in what will be an ongoing series. The Addison Artist Council builds on the Addison’s nearly century-long commitment to supporting living artists. The museum’s storied history includes many “firsts” with exhibitions, acquisitions, or residencies by artists including Josef Albers, Ruth Asawa, Dawoud Bey, Sheila Hicks, Hans Hofmann, Andy Warhol, and Francesca Woodman. The Bartlett H. Hayes, Jr. Prize continues this extraordinary tradition by providing an artist their first ever solo show at a collecting museum, along with a publication, acquisition of their work for the museum’s collection, and an artist’s residency on campus.
“Reggie Burrows Hodges’ upcoming exhibition unveils a profound body of work that speaks to our current moment while simultaneously entering into a provocative dialogue with the Addison’s treasured collection,” said Allison Kemmerer, the Mary Stripp and R. Crosby Kemper Director of the Addison Gallery of American Art. “Reggie’s artistry serves as a powerful testament to the enduring relevance of American art, encapsulating the spirit of the Hayes Prize and the museum’s dedication to supporting American artists.”
“The support the Addison Artist Council provides through the Bartlett H. Hayes, Jr. Prize opens a relationship that extends beyond the run of a single exhibition,” said Reggie Burrows Hodges. “Working with the Addison to map out this solo exhibition, plan a publication and acquisition, and especially to interact with young people through the residency program, is sustaining and energizing.”
About the Artist
Reggie Burrows Hodges (b. 1965, Compton, CA) is a painter currently based in Maine and the Bay Area. Hodges studied theatre and film at the University of Kansas. In 2021, Hodges received a Jacob Lawrence Award in Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Hodges’ work is in collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas; Tate Modern, London; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.