MCA Sydney

MCA NORTH, The Rocks, 140 George Street

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For his Australian premiere, the MCA Sydney presents Los Angeles-based Tim Hawkinson, whose ingenious constructions have brought him widespread recognition as one of the most original artists working today.

Known primarily for his large-scale kinetic and sound-producing works, Hawkinson works across a range of media to create highly imaginative two and three-dimensional assemblages. His intricate and playful works engage with the human body and portraiture, using materials such as latex, plastic, cardboard, string and mechanical components.

For his MCA solo exhibition Tim Hawkinson: Mapping the Marvellous, the artist presents sculptures, photo-collages, and drawings from the mid 1990s to the present. It introduces his extraordinary new creations – among them a bat created from shredded black plastic bags and twist ties – as well as inflatable and collaged self-portraits, monstrous beings and fantastical structures that chatter, whistle, rotate and spin.

A ‘balloon self portrait’ of the artist takes centre-stage in the MCA’s double height gallery, comprising a suspended latex cast of the artist’s body that is inflated via a wall-mounted reservoir of air, like a gigantic bladder or lung.

Another work, entitled ‘Drip’, comprises a monstrous form with white coiled plastic tentacles, like unruly tree branches, that release droplets of water into steel buckets ringed about its base. Other works refer to our obsessive human need for order and containment, using maps and charts, volumes and measurements to document the world in all its excess.

The vast wall drawing ‘Petrie’ takes the form of spiralling knots and convolutions, created by attaching green pens and pencils to a modified drill head. Working from the centre of the paper outwards, the drawing grew, as the artist observes, ‘through accretion, or as in the growth of a crystal’. Hawkinson retained the many pens and pencils used in this work and re-grouped them to form the collective green iris of an oversized eyeball that sits nearby (pictured above) – a mute witness to its own creation.

Curated by MCA Senior Curator Rachel Kent, and presented in association with the Sydney Festival, Hawkinson’s MCA Sydney exhibition represents the first time that this significant artist has been seen in Australia. It is accompanied by a major 170pp publication in full colour with critical essays by Rachel Kent and John C Welchman.

Tim Hawkinson
Mapping the Marvellous
Kurator: Rachel Kent