Bill Hodges Gallery

Bill Hodges Gallery Fine Art Gallery in New York City specializing in the work by notable African-American Artists such as Norman Lewis, Romare Bearden, and Glenn Ligon.

The Bill Hodges Gallery is focused on work by historically significant African-American artists and located in Chelsea, New York.

We had a lovely time at Expo Chicago 2024, thank you so much for visiting to all those who were able to stop by! We had ...
04/15/2024

We had a lovely time at Expo Chicago 2024, thank you so much for visiting to all those who were able to stop by! We had a wonderful time at the booth sharing memories about Richard Hunt with the many people who had the privilege of knowing him.⁠
Now that we're returning to Chelsea, stay tuned for upcoming announcements!

"Serpentine" (1970) is a vibrant canvas from later in Norman Lewis' career, in which a pattern of blue tiles wind into t...
04/14/2024

"Serpentine" (1970) is a vibrant canvas from later in Norman Lewis' career, in which a pattern of blue tiles wind into the form of a serpent. The eye-catching interplay of blue and red showcases Lewis' affinity for processional forms, compositional brilliance, and command over a large canvas space.⁠
"Serpentine" is currently on view at our booth at Expo Chicago, booth #458. Stop by and see other compelling works by Lewis, as well as Wifredo Lam, Stanley Whitney, and Romare Bearden, among others.⁠

Norman Lewis (1909 - 1979)⁠
"Serpentine," 1970⁠
Oil on Canvas⁠
60 x 48 in.

Beauford Delaney's "Composition" (ca. 1961) is a small yet powerful work that allows insight into the artist's working p...
04/13/2024

Beauford Delaney's "Composition" (ca. 1961) is a small yet powerful work that allows insight into the artist's working process and areas of strength. This work is characteristic of Delaney's exuberant, generous use of yellow in much of his work, and evidences his compositional prowess. Yellow is a significant color to Delaney's body of work, perhaps related to his interest in capturing and immortalizing the appearance of light.⁠
This painting is on view at our booth at Expo Chicago, booth #458. Come visit, through Sunday, April 14th.⁠

Beauford Delaney (1901 - 1979)⁠
"Composition," ca. 1961⁠
Oil on Canvas⁠
10 ⅝ x 5¼ in.

Richard Hunt (1935 - 2023) grew up in Chicago, and continued to live and work there for the rest of his life. In his you...
04/12/2024

Richard Hunt (1935 - 2023) grew up in Chicago, and continued to live and work there for the rest of his life. In his youth, he attended classes at the South Side Community Art Center in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, a center founded by successful Black artists in Chicago from the preceding generation. Also instrumental to Hunt's creative development was the Art Institute of Chicago, where he took classes as a high school student interested in sculpture, and went on to receive his BFA from the School of the Art Institute.⁠
⁠Richard Hunt’s "Inside and Outside the Frame," (2006-20) previously on view at the Art Institute of Chicago as part of a solo exhibition titled "Scholar’s Rock or Stone of Hope or Love of Bronze" (2020-21), is a highlight of our upcoming exhibition at Expo Chicago.⁠
We are honored to display Richard Hunt's work and celebrate his continuing legacy. Works including "Inside and Outside the Frame," pictured here, will be on view at Expo Chicago, booth #458.⁠

Richard Hunt (1935 - 2023)⁠
"Inside and Outside the Frame," (2006-20)⁠
Cast and Welded Bronze⁠
77 x 36 ¼ x 30 ½ in.

Glenn Ligon's "Study for Negro Sunshine,"  #70 and  #95, (2011 and 2012, respectively) each consist of an accumulation o...
04/11/2024

Glenn Ligon's "Study for Negro Sunshine," #70 and #95, (2011 and 2012, respectively) each consist of an accumulation of hand-stenciled text spelling out “NEGRO SUNSHINE,” with coal particles caked on top of the letters. The coal catches the light and sparkles, adding another dimension to the reference to light in the work’s title. There are also versions of this work without coal dust, so the coal here is an optional, additive element. To make these works, Ligon repeatedly reused the same stencil, and the human error inherent to this process led to the dispersion of oil stick and coal pigment over the sheet of paper, making it appear weathered. In the many versions of this study, the repetitions and the obfuscation of the text cause its signifying power to fade. In this way, the phrase simultaneously becomes a pattern and a mantra, losing much of its original meaning and gaining a new one through repetition.⁠
There is an evident connection between the "Studies for the Negro Sunshine" and a series of neon works by Ligon spelling out the same phrase. This phrase evidently preoccupied Ligon, and it derives from a quote by Gertrude Stein, referring to a stereotyped idea that has historically been used to justify slavery: that of Black people who are cheerful in their servility. However, the phrase simultaneously conjures ideas of Black joy as a means for resistance. This kind of double meaning is commonplace for Ligon's work, whose conceptual work is meant to prompt multiple readings that raise questions, often concerning sexuality, violence, and racial identity within the context of American history. In this case, the title invites viewers to consider the experience of perceiving oneself through the eyes of a stereotyping, hostile other.⁠
These works are currently on view at our booth at Expo Chicago, #458. Come visit us, through Sunday the 14th.⁠

Left:⁠
Glenn Ligon (1960 - )⁠
"Study for the Negro Sunshine #95," 2012⁠
Oilstick, Coal Dust and Gesso on Paper⁠
11⅝ x 8⅞ in.⁠

Right:⁠
Glenn Ligon (1960 - )⁠
"Study for the Negro Sunshine #70," 2011⁠
Oilstick, Coal Dust and Gesso on Paper⁠
12 x 9 in.

Agustín Cárdenas was born in 1927 in Matanzas, Cuba. At the age of 16 he moved to Havana, where he attended the Escuela ...
04/08/2024

Agustín Cárdenas was born in 1927 in Matanzas, Cuba. At the age of 16 he moved to Havana, where he attended the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes “San Alejandro,” studying under the master sculptor Juan José Sicre.⁠
Post-graduation, Cárdenas involved himself with various art groups, most notably Los Once (The Eleven), comprised of painters and sculptors who rejected conventional art practices.⁠
A burgeoning interest in more avant-garde art methods led him to migrate to Paris in 1955 where he found camaraderie with famed French writer and poet André Breton and surrealist artists Constantin Brancusi and Salvador Dali. In 1956 as Cárdenas settled in the Montparnasse neighborhood of Paris, André Breton’s prominent gallery l’Étoile Scellée invited Cárdenas to exhibit, similarly welcoming the likes of Max Ernst, Man Ray, and Meret Oppenheim that same years. For the next few years he continued to exhibit his sculptures around Paris, and in 1961 participated in the Paris Biennale, winning first prize in sculpture. ⁠
After decades living in France, in 1994 Cárdenas fell ill and returned to Havana, where he remained until his death in 2001. Agustín Cárdenas is buried in the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris and is survived by his four sons. ⁠
This work, "Vertical Form," (1983) exemplifies Cárdenas' skill in creating forms that are reminiscent of something corporeal, adding whimsy and drama to this bone-like form.⁠

Agustín Cárdenas (1927 – 2001)⁠
"Vertical Form," 1983⁠
Black Patinated Bronze on a Black Marble Pedestal⁠
Ed. of 8⁠
15 ½ x 3 ½ x 3 ½ in.

In this untitled painting from 1973 by Wifredo Lam, a bird-like creature perches on top of the head of a human figure. T...
04/06/2024

In this untitled painting from 1973 by Wifredo Lam, a bird-like creature perches on top of the head of a human figure. Typical for Lam’s work, this may depict two creatures or one single human-animal hybrid with multiple faces. Lam was interested in the practice of Santería, often depicting subjects in communion with animals or spiritual presences. In these images, typical relations between distinct figures are blurred and flattened as hybridity and spiritual possession take hold. It is clear that the beings depicted here are inseparably connected. Horns emerging from the human head appear to pierce the animal above it, and a protrusion from the animal’s face connects with the head below it. There are many faces here, and each one stares back with blank, white eyes. The shapes formed by the bodies of these creatures, with their seemingly arbitrary limbs and protrusions, lend themselves to a balanced composition which presents many facets of one connected entity. This work is exemplary of Lam’s whimsical, surreal, spiritual approach to his figures.
This painting will be featured in our exhibition at Expo Chicago, April 11-14, booth #458.

Wifredo Lam (1902 - 1982)
"Untitled," 1973
Oil on Canvas
17 ⅞ x 13 ¾ in.

Stanley Whitney's "Stay Songs" (2002) is one of many records of the artist's decades-long experimentation with color and...
04/03/2024

Stanley Whitney's "Stay Songs" (2002) is one of many records of the artist's decades-long experimentation with color and composition, performed within the compositional bounds imposed by stacked rows of differently-colored quadrangles. This particular work uses warm browns next to blues and oranges to impart an overall feeling of warmth and richness to the composition, which is augmented by the lack of white space - the colored squares seem to push on the very edges of the image containing them.⁠
This work will be featured at our booth at Expo Chicago: April 11-14, booth #458.

Stanley Whitney (1946 - )⁠
Stay Songs, 2002⁠
Monotype on Paper⁠
Image: 15 7⁄8 x 15 3⁄4 in. (40.3 x 40 cm)⁠
Paper: 24 7⁄8 x 22 1⁄8 in. (63.2 x 61.3 cm)

Zanele Muholi is a South African artist and visual activist working in photography, video, and installation. Responding ...
04/02/2024

Zanele Muholi is a South African artist and visual activist working in photography, video, and installation. Responding to the ongoing discrimination and violence faced by the LGBTQIA community, Muholi has spent over a decade depicting Black LGBTQIA individuals. They aim to highlight Black q***r and trans histories of resistance to violence in South Africa and beyond. In a recent series, “Somnyama Ngonyama (Hail, the Dark Lioness),” Muholi becomes both the participant and the image-maker, turning the camera on themself. Experimenting with different characters and archetypes, Muholi’s self-portraits reference specific events in South Africa’s political history. In this work, Muholi’s body leans slightly forward towards the viewer, and their unwavering, resolute gaze is the focal point. Exaggerating the darkness of their skin tone, Muholi offsets the culturally dominant images of Black women and femmes in the media today.⁠
This work will be on view at Bill Hodges Gallery's booth at Expo Chicago, booth #458.⁠

Zanele Muholi (1972 - )⁠
Cebo, Philadelphia, 2018⁠
Gelatin Silver Print, Edition of 5⁠
30 x 23 ¾ in.

"Le Modèle Noir," the comprehensive catalog from the Musée d’Orsay’s triumphant 2019 exhibition, reveals the practice of...
04/01/2024

"Le Modèle Noir," the comprehensive catalog from the Musée d’Orsay’s triumphant 2019 exhibition, reveals the practice of depicting the Black body to mirror the ideas and sensibilities of a time period, offering a nuanced look into the culture surrounding visual art, race relations, and class relations in Paris during the modern period. This volume contains beautiful images, writings, and timelines detailing important Black figures throughout European and American art history. ⁠
Available on our website.

Happy Easter from Bill Hodges Gallery! Today we're sharing a work from the collection, William Carter's "Untitled (Carna...
03/31/2024

Happy Easter from Bill Hodges Gallery! Today we're sharing a work from the collection, William Carter's "Untitled (Carnations)" (ca. 1950). Carter worked in both representational and abstract painting styles. His works often possessed Cubist traits, and an appreciation for multifaceted light and form carries over into many of his non-Cubist works, which often seem broken down into complimentary, component parts. In this painting, despite the lack of a defined background for the carnations depicted, one can imagine the sunlight that illuminates them and the foliage that surrounds them.⁠

William Carter (1909 - 1996)⁠
"Untitled (Carnations)," (ca. 1950)⁠
Watercolor on Thick Wove Paper⁠
24 x 18 ⅛ in.

“Horse Woman on the Chair” is a drawing by Wifredo Lam depicting one of his many hybrid figures, in this case an angular...
03/30/2024

“Horse Woman on the Chair” is a drawing by Wifredo Lam depicting one of his many hybrid figures, in this case an angular female figure with the head of a horse. An ink wash provides definition to the sharp, decisive angles delineating a wide shoulder and a curved, sloping neck. Lam’s modernist approach to the figure is undergirded by his lifelong interest in Santería. Throughout his career, he repeatedly depicted hybrids, referencing the spiritual practice of possession that is likened to being “ridden” by the spirit. In this way, the horse-human hybrid represents a spiritual conduit, exemplary of themes that inspired much of Lam’s work.⁠
This work will be on view at Expo Chicago, April 11-14, at booth #458.⁠

Wifredo Lam (1902 - 1982)⁠
"Horse Woman on the Chair," 1951⁠
Ink and Ink Wash on Paper⁠
15 ⅞ x 12 ⅜ in. (40.3 x 31.4 cm)

Romare Bearden's “Prologue to Troy” depicts a scene from Greek mythology from a Southern American perspective. This scre...
03/29/2024

Romare Bearden's “Prologue to Troy” depicts a scene from Greek mythology from a Southern American perspective. This screenprint is from Bearden’s “Prevalence of Ritual” series, completed in 1974, each depicting a scene from the Biblical or mythological canon. Layers of orange, yellow, and green catch the eye and lend depth to the flatness of this work. With a flat swath of green covering the majority of the pictorial plane, these figures’ interaction takes place in an immersive, all-encompassing environment - the horizon line, above the figures’ heads, conveys the raised perspective of a detached, floating viewer. This print, and the series as a whole, underscore Bearden’s career-long emphasis on making work that balances universal applicability, contemporary salience, and specificity to African-American history and culture.⁠

This work will be on view at our booth ( #458) at Expo Chicago, April 11-14.⁠

Romare Bearden (1911 - 1988)⁠
"Prologue to Troy," 1974⁠
Color Screenprint⁠
Edition of 100⁠
Paper: 40 x 32 in. (101.6 x 81.3 cm)⁠
Image: 36 x 29 ⅛ in. (91.4 x 74 cm)

This work in graphite and oil, titled "Parade" (1961), calls to mind many of Norman Lewis’ well-known, later works invol...
03/28/2024

This work in graphite and oil, titled "Parade" (1961), calls to mind many of Norman Lewis’ well-known, later works involving processions of geometrically simplified figures. He developed this motif throughout the 1950s, and it became a fixture in his work, recognizable over decades of his career. The figures here possess a visible aura conveyed by graphite rubbings, which gives this procession a ceremonial quality. The figures’ distinctiveness from one another and winding path lend themselves to a composition that is intriguing despite its pared-down nature, and Lewis’ compositional restraint lends gravity to these diminutive figures.⁠

This work will be on view at Expo Chicago, April 11-14, booth #458.⁠

Norman Lewis (1909 - 1979)⁠
"Parade," 1961⁠
Oil and Graphite on Paper⁠
18 ¾ x 25 ¾ in.

"Norman W. Lewis, et al." is a full-color catalog containing a forward by Bill Hodges and images of 31 works by America’...
03/24/2024

"Norman W. Lewis, et al." is a full-color catalog containing a forward by Bill Hodges and images of 31 works by America’s most important African-American artists, including Norman Lewis, Jacob Lawrence, Sam Gilliam, Charles Alston, Romare Bearden, and many others.⁠ This catalog includes 71 color images, many of which have never before been reproduced, commentary on Norman Lewis and the gallery owner’s comments. An important catalog to have in your collection! Available through our website and at the gallery.

Cover image:
Norman Lewis
"New World Acoming," 1971
Oil on Canvas.
73 x 87 in.

Certain artists who will be featured in our Expo Chicago exhibition, including Eldzier Cortor (1916 - 2015), carry stron...
03/23/2024

Certain artists who will be featured in our Expo Chicago exhibition, including Eldzier Cortor (1916 - 2015), carry strong associations with Chicago. Eldzier Cortor was a painter and printmaker whose work focused on Black joy, success, and dignity, particularly through depiction of the human figure. Cortor both grew up in Chicago and, despite frequent travel, maintained connections with the city for the rest of his life. Alongside others including Charles White and Archibald Motley, Jr., Cortor founded the South Side Community Art Center in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood in 1940, and it remains a hub for art learning in the city, the only WPA-affiliated art center that remains to this day.⁠
The above work will be featured in our exhibition at Expo Chicago, April 11-14, booth #458.⁠

Eldzier Cortor (1916 - 2015)⁠
"Marche Assemblage III," ca. 1985⁠
Oil on Canvas⁠
20 x 17 ½ in.

Bill Hodges Gallery is pleased to participate in Expo Chicago 2024, April 11-14, exhibiting a selection of paintings, dr...
03/21/2024

Bill Hodges Gallery is pleased to participate in Expo Chicago 2024, April 11-14, exhibiting a selection of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, collages, and sculptures by modern and contemporary Black artists. Each of these works exemplifies the creative ingenuity of some of the most talented and innovative creative minds of their respective generations. Artists such as Agustín Cárdenas (1927 – 2001), Norman Lewis (1909 - 1979), and Stanley Whitney (1946 - ) have heavily influenced the development of abstraction to this day, while artists such as Jacob Lawrence (1917 – 2000), Wifredo Lam (1902 - 1982), and Beauford Delaney (1901 – 1979) articulated central tenets of modernism and of twentieth-century sociopolitical thought through their figurative work. ⁠

The work pictured above will be featured in the exhibition. More info to come!⁠
Bill Hodges Gallery will be located at Booth #458.⁠
See you there!⁠

Pictured:⁠
Stanley Whitney (1946- )⁠
"Stay Songs," 2002⁠
Monotype on Paper⁠
Image: 8 ⅞ x 8 ⅞ in.⁠
Sheet: 22 ¼ x 21 ¼ in.

Today at Bill Hodges Gallery we remember the legacy of Romare Bearden (1911-1988), who passed away on this day in 1988. ...
03/13/2024

Today at Bill Hodges Gallery we remember the legacy of Romare Bearden (1911-1988), who passed away on this day in 1988. Bearden was an American artist and writer known for his paintings and collages, and a friend of Mr. Hodges. He was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, and grew up in New York City and Pittsburgh. For much of his childhood, his parents’ home was a meeting place for significant figures of the Harlem Renaissance, such as W.E.B. DuBois and Langston Hughes. He attended New York University, graduating in 1935 with a degree in science and education, and in the same year became a member of the Harlem Artists Guild. His early work drew inspiration from Mexican muralism and focused on unity and cooperation in daily life within the African-American community.
His early work drew inspiration from Mexican muralism and focused on unity and cooperation in daily life within the African-American community. ⁠"The Rites of Spring" (ca. 1940⁠) is one of Bearden’s greatest early works, painted as he was transitioning out of his time as a social rights cartoonist, so the themes and styles are still present, but here the medium and scale are far grander. This is a large work that provides a 4 foot wide window into the life of a poor mother being reprimanded for not properly tending to the fields. The work is riddled with Bearden’s iconic features, such as the church and its steeple in the background, and large commanding hands, especially on the woman to represent embracing of the family.
In the early 1960s, Bearden began working with photo-montage and collage while focusing on the socially-conscious subject matter promoted by the civil rights movement. Along with artists such as Hale Woodruff, Charles Alston, and Norman Lewis, Bearden founded Spiral, a group which promoted the work of black artists and emphasized creative responses to the civil rights movement.
Bearden has been the focus of several museum retrospectives including those organized by the Museum of Modern Art (1971), Mint Museum of Art (1980), Detroit Institute of the Arts (1986), Studio Museum in Harlem (1991), and National Gallery of Art (2003). His work has been collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, National Gallery of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. In 1984, he received the Mayor's Award of Honor for Art and Culture in New York City, and in 1987, he was awarded the President's National Medal of the Arts.

"The Rites of Spring" is currently on loan to Nashville's Frist Art Museum, as part of the insightful traveling exhibition "Southern/Modern," displaying modern works by artists working in the Southern United States.⁠⁠ The traveling exhibition, organized by the Mint Museum in collaboration with the Georgia Museum of Art, is on view at the Frist Art Museum through April 28, 2024.⁠

Romare Bearden (1911-1988)⁠
"The Rites of Spring," ca. 1940⁠
Gouache on Cardboard⁠
31 ½ x 48 in.

Linda Touby’s thought-provoking work uses the vocabulary of Abstract Expressionism to explore color associations and the...
03/10/2024

Linda Touby’s thought-provoking work uses the vocabulary of Abstract Expressionism to explore color associations and the flatness of the canvas, while retaining dimensionality and a cutting-edge freshness. In the spring of 2000, Bill Hodges Gallery mounted a solo show, exhibiting a collection of lush, spiritually salient works from 1998-2000 that demonstrated a masterful handling of large amounts of paint. The accompanying catalog, “Linda Touby: New Paintings II,” features a foreword by Bill Hodges, an essay about the artist by Susan Inniss, and eighteen full-color reproductions of Touby’s work. It is available for purchase on our website and at the gallery.

"Serpentine," a vibrant canvas of Norman Lewis' later period, is an energetic composition of crimson abuzz against polyg...
03/06/2024

"Serpentine," a vibrant canvas of Norman Lewis' later period, is an energetic composition of crimson abuzz against polygonal blue tiles. These tiles puzzle into the winding shape of a serpent creature, whose angles break the red field with decisive motion. At the time of the work's production, Lewis was recognized by art critics as an Abstract Expressionist. His works had been included in the 1951 MoMA exhibition entitled "Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America;" and he won the Popularity Prize at the 1955 Carnegie International Exhibition. In addition, Lewis remained socially engaged with other artists of his generation. He attended Studio 35 meetings, organized by Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, and William Baziotes, alongside Ad Reinhart, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, and Alfred Barr. However, he was not often properly recognized for his contributions as a Black artist due to his abstract style.⁠
This painting was produced following the creation of Cinque Gallery, which was cofounded by Lewis along with Romare Bearden and Ernest Crichlow. With the aim of supporting young art students and offering a platform for them to show their works, Lewis dedicated his time to empowering younger generations of artists. In "Serpentine," the composition of the elemental forms recalls the abstracted crowds portrayed in other works by Lewis, such as "Exodus" (1972). In this respect, "Serpentine" is representative of Lewis' determination to build supportive, cooperative communities.⁠

This and other powerful works by Norman Lewis are on view now at Bill Hodges Gallery. Come by and pick up a catalog and free tote bag! We look forward to welcoming you.⁠

Norman Lewis (1909-1979)⁠
"Serpentine," 1970⁠
Oil on Canvas⁠
60 x 48 in.

Richard Hunt's sculptures are renowned for their fine balance of delicate, outstretched scions, often welded to a dense,...
03/05/2024

Richard Hunt's sculptures are renowned for their fine balance of delicate, outstretched scions, often welded to a dense, angular base. Many of Hunt's works contain parts derived from automobiles and assorted industrial elements, which imbue his compositions with a blend of organic and mechanical references. "Winged Hybrid" exemplifies Hunt's attention to material and technique, as a work of sculptural genius assembled from automobile parts and welded into a luminous, curving silhouette. From the smooth shine of light glinted off the edge of steel to the captivating gradation of color on chrome, Hunt's brilliance regarding compositional balance with wrought metals remains unparalleled. Luminous from all angles, "Winged Hybrid" is a profound instance of sculptural virtuosity.⁠

This work is on view now as part of our current exhibition, "Norman Lewis & Richard Hunt." Come by and pick up a catalog and free tote bag! We look forward to welcoming you.⁠

Richard Hunt (1935 - 2023)⁠
"Winged Hybrid," 1973⁠
Welded Chrome⁠
28 x 16 x 12 ½ in

Norman Lewis' "Awakenings" are a substantive meditation on the illustrative properties of a single color. The oranges, w...
03/04/2024

Norman Lewis' "Awakenings" are a substantive meditation on the illustrative properties of a single color. The oranges, when viewed more extensively over the surfaces of the full paintings, create various geometric forms that are frequently seen in Lewis' other works, signifying figures in action. With the misty haze of a sunrise, a core of white and yellow bursts from the center of the composition, anchoring the work with contemplative balance. In each work, this white paint is applied in layers, expanding horizontally and resembling ocean waves. These two works complement one another with their restraint in composition, inviting contemplation and meditation.⁠

Lewis' "Awakenings" are on view now as part of Bill Hodges Gallery's current exhibition "Norman Lewis & Richard Hunt." Come by and pick up a catalog and a free tote bag! We look forward to welcoming you.⁠

Norman Lewis (1909-1979)⁠
"Awakening," 1969⁠
Oil on Canvas⁠
79 ¼ x 59 ¼ in.⁠

"'2' Awakening," 1969⁠
Oil on Canvas⁠
79 ¼ x 59 ¼ in.

Glenn Ligon is one of the most exhibited contemporary African-American artists today, with works exploring the relations...
03/03/2024

Glenn Ligon is one of the most exhibited contemporary African-American artists today, with works exploring the relations between race, gender, sexuality, and language in America. In 2007, Bill Hodges Gallery exhibited seventeen of his works in an exhibition titled “Glenn Ligon: Unauthorized.” The accompanying 18-page catalog, featuring a foreword by Bill Hodges and full-color images of Ligon’s works spanning two decades, is available for purchase on our website and at the gallery.

Richard Hunt's "Hybrid Figure" is a fine example of the artist's signature style of blending biomorphic silhouettes with...
03/01/2024

Richard Hunt's "Hybrid Figure" is a fine example of the artist's signature style of blending biomorphic silhouettes with geometric, gently-wrought, metallic shapes. Balanced atop a triangular base is a winged form, whose slightly scalloped edges frame the work like fins or wings; contrasting with the industrial structure of the sculpture's foundation. The strong verticality of the work suggests a profound sense of yearning and exaltation. Wings and images of flight are a core motif found throughout Hunt's work, and this transcendent bronze is no exception.⁠

This and other works spanning decades of Hunt's career are on view now as part of our current exhibition, "Norman Lewis & Richard Hunt." Come by and pick up a catalog and a free tote bag! We look forward to welcoming you.⁠

Richard Hunt (1935- )⁠
"Hybrid Figure," 1986⁠
Cast and Welded Bronze⁠
21 ¼ x 7 x 10 ¼ in.

"Night Vision" is a work from relatively early in Norman Lewis' abstract period that demonstrates a throughline to his l...
02/29/2024

"Night Vision" is a work from relatively early in Norman Lewis' abstract period that demonstrates a throughline to his later works. Here he primarily uses fleshy, earthy tones, giving this work a feeling of the organic and the intimate, and connoting fertility. A multitude of shapes with softened edges lend themselves to the dynamism of this canvas. In addition, repetitive mark making in black draws the eye, implies motion, and recalls the appearance of writing, mirroring Lewis' signature in the lower right corner. Lighter hues on the top half of the canvas and darker ones on the bottom may suggest a horizon, but the intimacy of these colors undermines the very suggestion of a landscape. The dynamic, exciting nature of this image is muted by its softness and natural color palette. It may be that this is a depiction of some kind of celebratory event, though obscured by distance or low visibility. The many layers of color make the canvas seem to glow, and it imparts the feeling of contentment of witnessing far-off excitement.⁠

"Night Vision" and numerous other captivating and intriguing works are on view now as part of Bill Hodges Gallery's current exhibition "Norman Lewis & Richard Hunt." Come by and pick up a catalog and a free tote bag! We look forward to welcoming you.⁠

Norman Lewis (1909-1979)⁠
"Night Vision," 1952⁠
Oil on Linen⁠
24 x 40 in.

Norman Lewis' "Ighia Galini" is a striking example of the artist's playful fluency in color and line, and a rich demonst...
02/28/2024

Norman Lewis' "Ighia Galini" is a striking example of the artist's playful fluency in color and line, and a rich demonstration of the restraint shown in his later work. A proud, eye-catching swath of royal blue stands out on a black background. Thin, graceful white lines stretch across the canvas. Small circles rest above the vibrant color streak, tying together the components of this work with rhythmic cohesion. From the subtle intricacies of the composition's cadence to the expansive, nearly abyssal feeling evoked by the background, this painting is a fantastic visual articulation of the wonderful complexity of the organic.⁠

"Ighia Galini" is on view now at Bill Hodges Gallery along with works spanning decades of Lewis' career as part of our current exhibition, "Norman Lewis & Richard Hunt." Stop by and pick up a catalog and a free tote bag! We look forward to welcoming you.⁠

Norman Lewis (1909-1979)⁠
"Ighia Galini," 1974⁠
Oil on Canvas⁠
54 ⅝ x 78 in.

Today we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Samella S. Lewis, an artist and art historian who made instrumental contributions...
02/27/2024

Today we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Samella S. Lewis, an artist and art historian who made instrumental contributions to the research and chronicling of the history of African American art. She was born in New Orleans in 1924 and initially attended Dillard University, where she met Charles White and Elizabeth Catlett, before transferring to Hampton Institute, graduating in 1945. She subsequently received masters and doctorate degrees in art history from Ohio State University, working as an associate professor at Morgan College while she finished her doctorate. She then took the position of chair of the fine arts department at Florida A&M University, where in 1953 she organized the first professional conference for African American artists. In 1958 she relocated to the State University of New York, Plattsburg, traveled to Taiwan on a Fulbright Fellowship, and then returned to take a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
Lewis was simultaneously a painter and printmaker, frequently using woodcuts. Her compositions take inspiration from contemporary propagandistic works such as those of the Taller de Gráfica Popular, with which her mentor Elizabeth Catlett was involved - Lewis manifestly prioritizes the ability of her work to draw the eye and persuade viewers.
In 1970 she became the first tenured Black professor at Scripps College, where she worked until 1984, also directing and curating exhibitions at the College’s Clark Humanities Museum. She devoted significant time to African American art history, working on films, exhibitions, and books, including the landmark textbook "Art: African American" (1978), one of the first of its kind.
She received the Charles White Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993 and the UNICEF Award for the Visual Arts in 1995, also working as a distinguished scholar at the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities (1996-97).
Her work has been collected by the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Pictured:
Samella Lewis (1924-2022)
"Children’s Games," 1960
Woodcut
9½ x 11⅞ in.

Norman Lewis' "Title Unknown" emphasizes the Cubist and abstract influences with which Lewis was beginning to experiment...
02/26/2024

Norman Lewis' "Title Unknown" emphasizes the Cubist and abstract influences with which Lewis was beginning to experiment in the 1940s. Here he creates a horizontal transition between bright red, pink, orange, green, and blue. Lewis composed this captivating painting during a transitional period in his career, from Social Realism to abstraction. While this work remains untitled, it is visually similar to his works inspired by jazz music and street scenes, calling on his distinct practice of subtly referencing the outside world, even in his abstract works. In this painting, the rhythm and flow of jazz are articulated through rich colors, expressive brushwork, and organic forms fit into a thick, lattice-like structural outline.⁠

"Title Unknown" is on view at Bill Hodges Gallery along with other works by Lewis as part of our current exhibition, "Norman Lewis & Richard Hunt." Come by and pick up a catalog and a free tote bag! We look forward to welcoming you.⁠

Norman Lewis (1909-1979)⁠
"Title Unknown," 1945⁠
Oil on Canvas⁠
29 ¼ x 16 in.

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