Leslie Sacks Gallery is pleased to present Portability, the latest series of paintings by acclaimed Los Angeles based artist, Charles Christopher Hill. The exhibition will feature square-format acrylic paintings on canvas ranging in size from 10 x 10 inches, 12 x 12 inches, 2 x 2 feet up to 5 x 5 feet.
While Charles Christopher Hill’s recent paintings echo themes of his older work, they invariably diverge in their own distinctive direction by way of the palette and portability. His iconic glossy, acrylic paintings of the past decade are juicy and visually stunning, but they are heavy and incredibly fragile. Hill sought to construct something lighter, brighter and invulnerable in the new paintings. He brandishes the newspaper-collaged canvases with a brilliant spectrum of colors, among them vivid turquoise, luminous marigolds and shocking pinks. Unquestionably, they are happy paintings with an element of playfulness. The variable square-format sizing introduces a modular component to this body of work, allowing for infinite installation permutations.
Throughout his career, Charles Christopher Hill has preferred the accessibility and texture of newsprint, rather than cotton based papers. Upon establishing a way of stabilizing the newsprint by counteracting its acidic nature, Hill was then free to master the manipulation of the material to fully conceive and execute his vision. Durable and moveable, these paintings are something of an illusion in their apparent tactile, weatherworn surfaces, which actually have an even and smooth finish. As always, Hill addresses the perception of surface and texture through experimentation of process and materials. He uses a lexicon of purely arbitrary recognizable shapes and patterns—squares, circles, checkers, keyholes, and stripes—but his methodology is altogether calculated and complex. There is no need for superfluous meaning or subject matter.
As a lover of anthropology, Charles Christopher Hill studies global cultures and ancient civilizations, drawing inspiration from their decorative symbols, their ritualistic practices and the connections between seemingly disparate civilizations and societies. He is particularly drawn to the Kuba textiles from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Kuba have an understanding of the formal possibilities of geometric variation and the countless combinations of shapes and colors that result. Though pure coincidence, he recently discovered that his latest work resembles very closely tantric paintings from India. The similarities are so striking one might believe they were aware of each other all along.
Charles Christopher Hill’s work is included in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Musée des Beaux Arts, Angers, France; and the Total Contemporary Art Museum, Seoul, Korea among other encyclopedic modern and contemporary institutional collections.