Justine Hill’s New Show of Sculptural Paintings Is a Timely Homage to the Importance of Touch—See Images Here
This is Hill’s third solo show at Denny Dimin gallery.
Caroline Goldstein, September 23, 2020
“Justine Hill: Touch”
Through October 31 at Denny Dimin Gallery
What the gallery says: “Justine Hill’s work explores the boundaries of abstract painting with her unique approach to form and mark making. The works in the exhibition are a continuation of what she has styled the ‘Cutouts’—paintings on shaped wood panels wrapped in canvas. Hill began to work with this process five years ago when she was questioning the circumscribed boundary of the single rectangle for a painting. The way Hill chooses to arrange the pieces, how the shapes relate to one another, and the negative spaces within and around them, are all essential to the work.
The title of the exhibition, ‘Touch,’ refers to the unquantifiable loss we have experienced in our socially distanced, remote lives over the past few months. It is an expression of desire to return to viewing art in person, because without the idea of touch, components such as texture, scale, volume, and color are impossible to understand with accuracy. Hill writes, ‘Touch is about standing in front of something or someone. It is about all that we learn by being in the same place, even when no one is speaking. It is about feeling the touch of the handmade. It is about everything that is lost in translation on a screen.’”
Why it’s worth a look: The colorful cut-out abstractions in Hill’s work are delightful to view online, and even better to see in person. Hill’s most recent series of works, titled “Replica,” are responses to the art of Marina Adams, whose abstract paintings incorporate geometric shapes and bright colors. Hill’s works evoke homemade crafts and magic markers, though their large-scale sculptural aspects and shaped canvases nod to other art-historical precedents, such as Frank Stella’s “Moby Dick” series. The works make you want to grab some art supplies and go to town.