March 20 - June 26, 2021
From the gallery:
“Sol Hill will exhibit photography-based works from the past four years at the Irving Art Center, from March 20 – June 26, 2021. Gallery hours are 12pm – 5pm, Tuesday-Saturday. This exhibition features twenty-five striking images from Signal from Noise, which encompasses two series, Token Feminine and Sublime Noise.
Token Feminine focuses on transformed images of female mannequins, while Sublime Noise conjures mysterious figures in dream-like settings. Both series use innovative techniques to create work that stretches the boundaries of contemporary photography. John Mendelsohn has written that Hill’s “process is both technological and poetic, showing the limits of the visible and the possibilities of seeing beyond it.”
The female figures in Token Feminine range widely in mood and the degree to which identity is lost, preserved, or altered. The images of the mannequins are no longer sharp in focus, devolving into atmospheres of tonality and color. The effect is cinematic and painterly, qualities emphasized by the varnish or acrylic gel texturally applied to the surface.
In these images, we enter a world where it is not clear if we are looking at real women or at plastic stand-ins. A bikini-clad figure is bathed in red light, her breasts glowing gold. A tall figure seems to begin to dissolve in white illumination and honeyed shadows. A woman in white is seen against a darkening sky and a bright sunset. A figure in a pale gown becomes a column of light.
In Token Feminine, Hill uses mannequins to reveal the idealized female image as an icon of consumer culture. The work is simultaneously a social critique, an examination of abstraction, and an inquiry into the nature of reality as encountered in a shop window.
In the series Sublime Noise, the photographic images imply a passage between states of human existence. In a variety of settings, the figures are transformed by light, their identities subsumed in a field of pixilated particles. The transfiguration that we witness takes many forms, implying that impermanence can be both terrifying and beautiful. In Mystery [The Via Negativa], a lone figure stands on a mottled surface melting into air. In The Cloud of Unknowing, a man seems to advance down a long staircase, surrounded by curving waves of green light. Self Reflection features an indistinct figure framed within a mirror’s bright reflection, a self-portrait of the artist.
Both series in the exhibition display Hill’s involvement with digital noise – extraneous energy in the form of electrical current, heat, or cosmic rays that can affect the image as it is recorded on the sensor. With the artist’s large-scale prints, the digital noise is manifested in the visible, randomized colored pixels, along with long exposures and blurring, resulting from the movement of the subject or the camera.
Other series by the artist have examined how the literal can reveal unacknowledged realities. The series Suspicious Noise features photographs of a U.S. government document on the surveillance of electronic communications, taken directly from a computer screen. Hill has traveled widely, and in his work, he pursues “the energy or soul of a place and how it affects people”. In all of Hill’s photographs, direct experience and art’s spiritual dimension are central, a reflection of the artist’s intersecting interests in neuroscience and vision, abstract painting, and the work of Jackson Pollock, Andy Goldsworthy, Sabastião Salgado, and Thomas Ruff.
Hill, who is based in Santa Barbara, CA, has shown his work in solo exhibitions at Calumet Gallery, Los Angeles; Tool Room Gallery, Ventura CA; Theater D, Santa Ynez, CA, The Museum Of Arts & Science, Macon, GA, and Anacostia Art Center – Washington DC. His group exhibitions include Gallery 825, Los Angeles; AES Power Plant, Redondo Beach, CA; Wall Space Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA; Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, CA; Mill Fine Art Gallery, Santa Fe; The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO; and the WPGA Biennial International Exhibition, Buenos Aires, Chile.”
On View: March 20, 2021 | 1–5 pm
3333 North MacArthur Blvd
Irving, 75062 TX
(972) 252-2787Get directions