This fall, the Addison presents a solo show of the work of artist Reggie Burrows Hodges, as well as two exhibitions highlighting different aspects of the permanent collection.
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 30, 4:00–6:00 pm
Hayes Prize 2023: Reggie Burrows Hodges, Turning a Big Ship
(September 1–December 31, 2023)
In this solo show, Reggie Burrows Hodges presents a new body of work that contemplates the notion of turning a big ship—of marshalling collective will and labor to resist a powerful current. The sloop and the sea captain are central motifs, as Hodges engages with and expands the tradition of maritime painting. In Hodges’s compositions, an inky black ground peeks through gauzy layers of color. Masts and sails morph into female forms that navigate vessels through uncertain waters. In earlier work, the artist 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. In this exhibition, Hodges 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 black underpainting. Yet, simultaneously, these paintings are oriented toward the future: redirecting the ship requires the collective embrace of possibility and change.
(September 1–December 31, 2023)
Sea Change presents selections from the Addison’s rich collection to explore the ocean and its shores as spaces of labor, leisure, passage, and danger. In the first gallery, the sea is presented as a source of sustenance and a site of commerce in works that highlight fishing, whaling, shipbuilding, and shipping. In the adjacent gallery, images of recreational sailing and time on the beach evoke the pleasures of lulling waves, cool breezes, and warm sand. A gallery across the rotunda is dedicated to the movement of people—willing immigrants as well as those enslaved—across oceans and the ways those transits have shaped the American experience. A connected gallery presents works that convey the perils of the sea, from churning waves that threaten to capsize vessels to the wreckage that has washed ashore. Finally, a small selection of works playfully takes up the strangeness and surrealism of the sea and its inhabitants.
Free Association: New Acquisitions in Context
(September 1, 2023–February 11, 2024)
This exhibition demonstrates how recently acquired works complement the Addison’s current holdings, drawing out new narratives, juxtapositions, and conversations across time and media. The entire second floor is given over to nine thematic galleries—the American West, interiors, the street, light, the body and nature, queer modernism, classical mythology, Bauhaus legacies, and the grid–each anchored by new acquisitions situated in conversation with works that entered the Addison’s collection at earlier moments in its nearly 100-year history. Taken together, this constellation of installations offers new ways of looking at a collection that is endlessly generative and constantly reinterpreted.
An exciting array of public programs related to these exhibitions and the museum’s collection are planned for the season—visit the Calendar of Events for details.
The Addison Gallery is free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am– 5:00 pm, and Sunday, 1:00–5:00 pm (closed on Mondays and national holidays).
Banner images, left to right: Robert Frank, Coney Island, Fourth of July, neg. 1958, print 1962, gelatin silver print, 11 1/2 x 16 3/4 inches, gift of Katherine D. and Stephen C. Sherrill (PA 1971, and P 2005, 2007, 2010), 1998.112; Reggie Burrows Hodges, See Captain: Nella, 2023, acrylic on linen, 94 x 82 inches, courtesy of the artist and Karma, © Reggie Burrows Hodges; Matthew Brandt, Fire Hole Falls 2C2M1Y2, 2014, multi-layered Duraclear prints processed with Fire Hole Falls water, in LED lightbox frame, 65 1/4 x 46 1/4 inches, gift of Christine Symchych (PA 1987), 2022.2
Article images, top to bottom: Reggie Burrows Hodges, Sloop: Eldaz Crossing, 2022, acrylic and pastel on canvas, 108 7/8 x 131 inches, courtesy the artist and Karma, © Reggie Burrows Hodges; Pat Steir, The Wave–From the Sea–After Leonardo, Hokusai, & Courbet, 1985, etching, aquatint, and drypoint on paper, 35 x 44 1/2 inches, gift of Bill and Bunny Maren, 2011.16; Vivian Maier, Chicago, 1956, gelatin silver print, 12 x 12 inches, W. Dean Eastman Family Collection, 2023.100