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.