After viewing John Hitchcock's prints and installations, one is left with an understanding of things not necessarily in today's highly charged public eye, but we left with a knowledge of atrocities from the past and imminent danger of the future. Hitchcock's work brings out the ghosts and fears of our past. He presents images of desecrated animals as decaying hunting trophies, and contrasts them against objects of mass destruction which threaten our planet. His is challenging work, not only for its subject, but for the thoughtful and engaging manner of his installations which wrap around rooms and cover floor to ceiling.
John Hitchcock was born and raised around Lawton, Oklahoma. He earned his MFA in printmaking and photography at Texas Tech University, in Lubbock, Texas and received his BFA from Cameron University, in Lawton, Oklahoma.
He is currently an Artist and Associate Professor of Art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Hitchcock’s artwork is deeply informed by his personal biography and family history. He grew up in western Oklahoma on Comanche tribal lands in the Wichita Mountains of Oklahoma next to Ft Sill, a US field artillery military base. Fort Sill was originally established in 1869 to wage battles against American Indians.
Hitchcock’s mother is of Comanche and Kiowa ancestry, a descendant of the indigenous Plains tribes affected by the federal government’s systematic policy of forced removal and relocation. The artist’s parents met when his father served at Fort Sill. Raised in this area, Hitchcock was exposed to the training activities at the base, which sensitized him to an American culture of violence and military action.
Hitchcock uses the print medium with its long history of social and political commentary to explore relationships of community, land, and culture. Images of U.S. military weaponry are combined with mythological hybrid creatures from the Wichita Mountains of western Oklahoma to explore notions of assimilation and control. He explores notions of good, evil, death, and life cycles. His depictions of beasts, animals, and machines act as a metaphors for human behavior and cycles of violence. His artwork is a response to human behavior towards nature and other people.
Hitchcock’s current artwork consists of mythological hybrid creatures (buffalo, wolf, boar, deer, moose) and military weaponry (tanks and helicopters) based on his childhood memories. He depicts stylized skulls of animal heads - buffalo, horse, and deer—that represent departed family members, and are linked to American Indian folklore passed down through his ancestors. The work reflects on communities and traditions disrupted by war and cultural genocide.
The American Photography Institute
Jerome Foundation grant
National Graduate Seminar Fellowship at New York University
Tisch School of Arts
Vilas Associate Grant at University of Wisconsin-Madison
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Monday, February 13, 2017
Greeting and happy Valentine's day to all my inked up friends. I wanted to share some valentines with you all, and share the wealth of our printed brethren's creativity for the day. Happy returns to all.....
Monday, January 30, 2017
Monday, January 9, 2017
Bolotowsky was associated with an art group called "The Ten Whitney Dissenters," or simply "The Ten"; which included artists like Adolph Gottlieb and Mark Rothko, who rebelled against the academic system and held their own independent exhibitions.
He was a leading artist in early 20th c. abstraction in the United States. Influenced by Cubism, especially the work of Georges Braque, Paul Klee, and Hans Arp, Bolotowsky began his professional career as a figurative expressionist. His work sought for philosophical order through visual expression, embraced Cubism and geometric abstraction and was influenced by the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian.
Because Bolotowsky was later influenced by the De Stijl movement, which advocated the concept of an ideal order within the visual arts, he gradually eliminated biomorphic form and began to use flat, linear structure. He adopted Mondrian's use of horizontal and vertical geometric abstraction, and used a palette of primary and neutral color. The artwork of Constructivist Kazimir Malevich also had a powerful impact on Bolotowsky's work.
In 1936 Bolotowsky co-founded American Abstract Artists, a group that rejected American Scene painting in favor of an intellectual vision of order and clarity. It was a cooperative formed to promote the interests of abstract painters and to increase the public’s understanding of their art.
Bolotowsky worked for the Public Works of Art Project, and then for the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project in New York. His mural for the Williamsburg Housing Project in Brooklyn was one of the first abstract murals done under the Federal Art Project.
After serving in the U.S. Air Force during World War II, Bolotowsky returned to New York, and resumed his art career, but looked to new artistic sources like the work of Alberto Giacometti. In the late forties, he began to create Neo-Plastic works in which he experimented with the pure elements of geometric painting shape, direction and form by using only straight lines in a plane.
Bolotowsky replaced Josef Albers as chairman of the art department at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. He also taught at Long Island University, the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater, and the University of New Mexico.
American Academy of the Arts and Letters
Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptures
Cleveland Museum of Art
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
National Museum of American Art
Philadelphia Museum of Art
the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.
San Francisco Museum of Art
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Whitney Museum of American Art