Folding, Floating, Falling

Shana Hoehn

In Residence: Sep 20 – Nov 22, 2021

Exhibition: Nov 18, 2021 – Jan 9, 2022

In Folding, Floating, Falling, Shana Hoehn transforms wood, furniture, ceramics, and found objects into sculptural forms that recall uncanny elements of a girlhood fantasy and appropriations of the female form. Her exhibition presents body-sized sculptures along with a few smaller and intimate works within the expansive gallery.

Created with a hybrid of materials, the artworks all show the hand of the artist as Hoehn’s studio work extends from hand tools to computer-designed CNC carving and from ceramic kiln firing to cast metal. The exhibition includes two small works, Arch of Hysteria, which are based upon ready-made found objects.

Occupying space within the gallery, four life-sized sculptures integrate common pieces of furniture with feminine forms or life species. Hoehn told Artpace, “In these new wooden forms, bodies fold into themselves. Folded hair becomes serpent-like forms, weapons, or tools such as rope. Furniture such as desks, tables, stair banisters also become swamp-like surfaces where spines, braids, and plants emerge.”

Installed on the wall, a series of small works, Paper Dolls, draws influence from American automobile hood ornaments that are mostly hybrids of women and jet planes. These works are no longer streamlined into action yet are provided with restful poses. Viewers can also listen to the sculpture as a new audio work around the loss of a childhood friend and an ode to the women arching their back.

In Hoehn’s world, American ideals of the feminine, the natural, and the industrial collide.

Download PDF of the Gallery Notes


Shana Hoehn

Texarkana, Texas, USA

Shana Hoehn (b. Texarkana, TX) is an artist working with sculpture, video, and photo-adjacent processes. Her research and artwork are a personal and historical inquiry into the aesthetics that allegorize the femme form. Conjuring imagery from her girlhood psyche and the female body in car culture, the medical imagination, pop-culture, and military-industrial objects, she disorganizes these sites of control and fantasy in such a way that retires their previous symbolic performance. Hoehn received her BFA in Painting at Maryland Institute College of Art and her MFA in Sculpture and Extended Media at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has participated in residencies and fellowships such as the Jan Van Eyck Academie, the Core Program at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Acre Residency, SOMA Summer, and the Fulbright Program in Mexico.

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Natalie Bell

Natalie Bell is Curator at the MIT List Visual Arts Center, where she recently organized solo exhibitions of Leslie Thornton and Sreshta Rit Premnath (both 2021). She was previously Associate Curator at the New Museum, New York, where she organized over a dozen solo exhibitions, among them: Lubaina Himid (2019), Marguerite Humeau (2018), Kahlil Joseph (2017), Hiwa K (2018), Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (2017), and Anri Sala (2016). Bell also co-curated several major group exhibitions, including “Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon” (2017), “The Keeper” (2016), and “Here and Elsewhere” (2014), as well as “The Same River Twice” (2019) and “The Warmth of Other Suns” (2019). She has edited or coedited more than a dozen exhibition publications and published widely. Prior to her work at the New Museum, Bell was assistant curator for “The Encyclopedic Palace,” the International Exhibition of the 55th Venice Biennale (2013).

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