We are pleased to present Robin Hill’s fourth solo exhibition at Lennon, Weinberg, her first in New York since 2004. Hill is a member of the studio faculty at the University of California at Davis where the interdisciplinary research environment has brought new ideas to the forefront of her sculptural practices.
Her new sculptures are constructed upon on a repertoire of decommissioned laboratory equipment acquired from the university’s “bargain barn,” a flea market of outmoded materiel. Combining carts, gurneys, overhead projectors, Pasteur Pipets with glass, mirrors, mica, cotton and wax, Hill has created enigmatic scenarios that represent systems of creative and scientific inquiry. In both disciplines, the activities of collecting and examining are preludes to understanding and knowledge.
The current exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalog with an essay titled “Collecting, Snowflakes, and the Case” written by Kristen Koster, a colleague at UC Davis whose research fields include French literature, art history and critical theory. During a studio conversation, Hill told Koster: “I don’t work with found objects with any sort of nostalgia for the objects. I’m interested in the integrity they have on their own. I take these things and treat them like architectural spaces that are very finely crafted.”
One of the works in this series is Dot Transport for Mary, a wheeled cart outfitted with mirrors and populated with vessels topped with colored circles. The dots are echoed on a length of cloth draped over the cart’s handle. The mirrors divide the interior of the cart and visually extend the space occupied the bottles in a way that echoes both Smithson and Kusama, with whom Hill shares an affinity for deploying multiple similar units.
There are elements of the absurd in Hill’s new work. Sorting System is a riot of plaster pods lodged among irregularly shaped wafers of wax-soaked cotton stuffed into the compartments of a vertical file sorting unit that is topped by similar elements – now organized into stacks and exclamation marks. The sculpture reflects an embrace of apparently opposed formal systems without preferencing order over disorder.
An eight-foot cyanotype on paper has been generated in dialogue with a colleague’s research into the mathematics of the crystalline structure of snowflakes, famously so infinitely varied that no two are the same. This exhibition includes a single example of Robin Hill’s snowflake cyanotypes; a concurrent exhibition of the ongoing series is on view at “another year in LA” from January 20 to February 20, 2011.
Her work is included in museum collections including the UCLA Hammer Museum, The Fogg Art Museum, the Achenbach Foundation and the Crocker Art Museum. She has received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the New York State Foundation for the Arts. Recent exhibitions in California include Kardex at another year in LA, Drawing the Line at Don Soker Contemporary Art in San Francisco and Multipyling the Variations at the University Art Gallery, California State University at Stanislaus that was documented in a catalog with an essay by critic Raphael Rubinstein.