Image: Sugar, Tobacco, Cotton, & Gold (2019) – Robert Hodge
Born in a flicker of serendipitous synchronicity—Robert Hodge’s chance discovery of Black Paintings, a monograph published by Hatje Cantz charting the intensive studies of the color black undertaken by Mark Rothko, Ad Reinhardt and other members of the New York School in the late 1940’s—the works on display in The Low End Theory reflect both an engagement with the myriad formal and allusive qualities of the color, as well as an interrogation of the ramifications surrounding the double-entendre of creating a series of intentionally black paintings as an artist of color.
Grounded in the rich continuum of African American history and cultural expression, Hodge’s work celebrates resilience and reclamation, with his commemorations of African American musical and cultural icons serving to both preserve the past and illuminate the present. With a nod to “sampling culture” and Rauschenberg’s principle of working in the gap between art and life, Hodge’s collage-based works pair urban detritus and found objects with cut-out images, lyrics and other signifiers of the African American experience, forming a duality of meaning wherein fragments of everyday urban life become conduits of artistic expression. Cut, sewn, scorched and painted, Hodge’s work collapses the space between his reclaimed materials and the traditions he invokes, suggesting alternative pathways through the self-described layer cake of African American history. Often confined to the conventional paradigm of paint and canvas, the ground of Hodge’s work is arguably the very history he draws inspiration from, manifested in the patchwork materiality of his mixed-media assemblages.
David Shelton Gallery
4411 Montrose Blvd, Suite B
Houston, TX 77006
Tues, Sat 11-6