In Reggie Burrows Hodges’s worlds, everyone is in motion — jumping hurdles, dancing, farming, riding a bike. Still, the paintings inspire a sense of stillness and tranquility. Spread out along the walls at Karma, the artist’s New York debut permits space for quiet reflection.
Within these vibrant portraits, unnamed figures undertake leisurely and arduous tasks in idyllic settings. Faces are blurred and imperceptible, yet somehow evoke a sense of intimacy rather than alienation. Without identifying facial characteristics, we instead focus on the subjects’ actions and surroundings. The figures are rendered with soft edges and glowing colors, inviting viewers into their picturesque scenes.
“Community Concern” (2020) offers a glimpse of a Black woman, exuberantly posed and swinging her arms, dancing. Her peach-colored pants dazzle while her face is an inky black monochrome. This anonymity departs from the notion of a portrait’s subject as an isolated individual and instead moves toward a collective sense of being, to which the title alludes.
Although Hodges was born in densely populated Compton, CA, he currently resides in Lewiston, Maine, a town more sparsely inhabited, where he is attuned to the earthy pastels of quaint rural New England landscapes. Works such as “On the Verge: Green Field” (2020) reflect the gentle tensions that illuminate Hodges’ practice: his impressionistic style dwells somewhere between abstraction and figuration, evoking the history of Western portraiture by foregrounding the figure but depart from tradition by omitting all facial features.
Hodges remains concerned with the human figure although not preoccupied with marked individuality — a formal gesture that echoes the critiques of rugged individualism fundamental to Black resistance historically and today.
Reggie Burrows Hodges continues through March 14 at Karma (188 East 2nd Street and 172 East 2nd Street, East Village, Manhattan, respectively).
The close, careful, and subtle observation I found this year is representative of precisely why I continue to gravitate to this fair.
How do we counter stereotypes about Black mothers, while stressing the importance of memory, determination, love, and corporeality?
An expansive exhibition on Adeliza McHugh’s influential Candy Store Gallery celebrates the whimsical, irreverent aesthetic that put California’s Sacramento Valley on the art-historical map.
With two stellar retrospectives, one time-based installation, and several commissions by local artists, the Phillips Collection has dedicated its galleries to highlighting abstract work by Black artists.
As we begin a new year, a small moment on Queer Eye makes me think about the profound effect our stories can have on each other.
Each fellow in this 10-month intensive in New Haven, Connecticut, will receive studio or office space, subsidized housing, and a generous stipend.
Some have criticized the racist monument’s planned relocation to North Dakota, near land seized from Indigenous people.
A group called the Boriken Libertarian Forces toppled the monument hours before King Felipe VI of Spain’s visit.
Graduate students in the University of Denver’s Emergent Digital Practices program work on research with faculty who are engaged directly with their communities, both online and off.
Still resonating with relevance, William Gropper’s incisive cartoons in defense of the WPA go on auction at New York’s Swann Galleries together with other works by celebrated WPA artists.
Archeologists excavating in Nijmegen, the Netherland’s oldest city, found the bowl in pristine condition.
A pioneer of street photography, Levitt worked in the most crowded and poorest neighborhoods of New York searching for the theater of everyday life.