Reggie Burrows maritime paintings

The Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, MA presents Hayes Prize 2023: Reggie Burrows Hodges, Turning a Big Ship—the first solo museum exhibition of works by the artist. The new suite of nearly two-dozen paintings completed in 2022 and 2023 ranges from the monumental to the intimately scaled. This body of work centers around the motifs of the sloop and the sea captain, engaging with and expanding the tradition of maritime painting.

Masts and sails morph into female forms, stewarding and navigating vessels through uncertain waters. Here, using his distinctive formal approach, the artist contemplates the notion of turning a big ship, of marshalling collective will and labor to resist a powerful current.

In earlier work, Hodges has captured glimpses into intimate, personal histories, rendering quiet scenes of community or solitude in soft focus, as if filtered through the hazy lens of memory. With this new subject, Reggie Burrows casts his gaze on a broader narrative: as the poet Derek Walcott writes, “the sea is History.”

This history—one of both exploration and exploitation—forms yet another ground for the paintings, surfacing as clearly as his signature black underpainting. At the same time, the paintings are oriented toward the future: to redirect the ship requires the collective embrace of possibility and change. The exhibition will be on view from September 1 to December 31, 2023.

Making History

Hodges is the inaugural recipient of the Addison Artist Council’s Bartlett H. Hayes, Jr. Prize and his exhibition is the first in what will be an ongoing series. The Addison Artist Council builds on the Addison’s nearly century-long commitment to supporting living artists.

The museum’s storied history includes many “firsts” with exhibitions, acquisitions, or residencies by artists including Josef Albers, Ruth Asawa, Dawoud Bey, Sheila Hicks, Hans Hofmann, Andy Warhol, and Francesca Woodman. The Bartlett H. Hayes, Jr. Prize continues this extraordinary tradition by providing an artist their first ever solo museum exhibition at the Addison, along with a publication, acquisition of their work for the museum’s collection, and an artist’s residency on campus.

“The support the Addison Artist Council provides through the Bartlett H. Hayes, Jr. Prize opens a relationship that extends beyond the run of a single exhibition,” Reggie Burrows Hodges said. “Working with the Addison to map out this solo exhibition, plan a publication and acquisition, and especially to interact with young people through the residency program, is sustaining and energizing.”

Reggie Burrows Hodges

Reggie Burrows Hodges (b. 1965, Compton, CA) is a painter currently based in Maine and the Bay Area. Hodges studied theatre and film at the University of Kansas. In 2021, Hodges received a Jacob Lawrence Award in Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Hodges’ work is in collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas; Tate Modern, London; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.

Also on View at the Addison this Fall

Sea Change

To complement Hayes Prize 2023: Reggie Burrows HodgesTurning a Big Ship, the Addison is presenting Sea Change, curated by Gordon Wilkins, the Addison’s Robert M. Walker Curator of American Art, and Rachel Vogel, Assistant Curator at the Addison.

Opening on September 1, this exhibition features notable works from the Addison’s rich collection of seascapes, maritime art, and historic model ships, including masterworks like Winslow Homer’s Eight Bells along with paintings, photographs, and sculptures by Milton Avery, José Bedia, Katherine Bradford, Willie Cole, Stuart Davis, Robert Frank, Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Fitz Henry Lane, Yinka Shonibare, among other artists. 

The exhibition spans five galleries and examines the sea and its shores as sites of labor, leisure, passage, and danger. Sea Change is generously supported by the Sidney R. Knafel Fund and is on view through December 31, 2023.

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