Boise Art Museum

Boise, ID



NW Perspectives: Judy Hill

March 9 - May 21, 2000


Boise Art Museum presents Judy Hill's cast glass and ceramic figurative sculptures in a "NW Perspectives" exhibition March 9 - May 21, 2000. Hill creates individuality in her figures through gesture, eccentric characteristics and stance, exploring the fragility and contradiction inherent in the human psyche. In these psychological portrayals, dress and body language also suggest metaphors for the ways in which identities are projected and protected. Judy Hill lives and works in Portland, Oregon. Nine of Hill's works dated 1997-99 are on view, courtesy of Grover/Thurston Gallery in Seattle. (left: Very Gently Now, 1997, kiln cast glass and raku ceramic, 13 x 5 x 5 1/4 inches, Private collection; right: I'll Keep It with Mine (Red Skirt),1998, kiln cast glass and raku ceramic, 17.5 x 5/5 3 inches, Private collection, courtesy of Grover/Thurston Gallery)

In the catalogue of an 1996 exhibition of Hill's work at Marylhurst College, the essayist writes of Hill's message through her sculpture:

Much of the work done by women artists over the past two decades has been concerned with society's expectations of women and, by extension, women's expectations of themselves. Many of these artists, particularly those working in glass and clay, have used the image of the vessel as a symbol and metaphor for women's bodies. It is a connection which has a long history, and Judy Hill continues the tradition. Hill's kiln cast glass and ceramic figures are vessels, and they are vessels of complex purpose. They are repositories of both conflict and dilemma: the conflict between expectation and realization, the dilemma of how to proceed. Hill is a master of subtle characterization. As she molds each figure, the nature of his or her predicament is revealed -- through the wholeness or deficiencies of the body, its exterior and interior manifestations, gesture, dress, and simple props. Materials are used symbolically and metaphorically -- glass is clear or colored, opaque or translucent. It is used to reveal the figure's inner life or to underline the fragility of a bond or offering. Ceramics are used to obscure and to conceal, and to represent the flesh. As the artist seeks to voice the complex truth of each figure's dilemma, we are convinced by the quiet care with which she articulates the questions.

This exhibition is made possible by support from BAM's Collectors Forum and the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass. "NW Perspectives" exhibitions present the work of contemporary Northwest artists.

Read more in Resource Library Magazine about the Boise Art Museum.

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