A public garden & cultural center

Camille Hoffman

Pictured Above: Camille Hoffman’s work in progress for Here We Land, 2019. Photo credit: Daniel Krusen-Chen

Here We Land | April 14 - July 14, 2019

Camille Hoffman's mixed-media paintings and installations are a meditation on Manifest Destiny and its representation in the romantic American landscape. Taking inspiration from Philippine weaving and the Jewish folk traditions of her ancestors, she layers materials collected from everyday life to create complex geographies, considering the ways in which interior and exterior spaces are constructed within the natural landscape, as well as within the human body. For Here We Land, she is especially inspired by the rhizomatic root system of the North American aspen tree. This particular species of aspen is derived from a single ancestral root system that can be thousands of years old. Connected beneath the earth, these trees can grow miles apart from one another, sending up new saplings as older ones die off. Hoffman envisions the interrelation between this root system and the forced separation of interconnected families crossing the US/Mexico border. Using silhouettes from leaked photographs of children held in US detention centers and families fleeing tear gas at the border, she collages nature calendars and stock, aspen-forest wallpapers to create new anthropomorphic landscapes. Spreading like rhizomes, they defiantly meld over the geometric window panes, mantels, moldings and floorboards in Glyndor Gallery’s south gallery.

Winter Workspace | January 2 - February 12, 2018

Pictured Above: Camille Hoffman in her Winter Workspace studio. Courtesy of Wave Hill. 

Camille Hoffman's current work is a mixed-media meditation on Manifest Destiny and its representation in the romantic American landscape. Reflecting on the embedded and latent meanings around light, nature, the frontier, borders, race, gender and power in influential American landscape paintings of the 19th century, she uses materials collected from her everyday life, including holiday-themed tablecloths, discarded medical records, nature calendars, plastic bags and paint, to craft imaginary landscapes that are grounded in accumulation, personal narrative and historical critique. Her paintings are layered geographies, in which these fragments of cultural objects are chromatically twisted and blended into complex wholes. Taking inspiration from the Philippine weaving and the Jewish folk traditions of her ancestors, along with traditional landscape painting techniques from her academic training, she interweaves image with refuse in order to reveal seamless yet textured transcultural contradictions. Disrupting visual perception, her scraps of materials take on new life, becoming a vehicle of territorial reclamation and spiritual agency for the artist amid the pressures of economic and political globalization.

During the Winter Workspace, Hoffman drew inspiration from Wave Hill’s Hudson River site and worked from historical references related to the Hudson River School. Her large paintings explore alternative topographies through integrating material remnants of contemporary life and culture at and around Wave Hill. Hoffman's interest in this site’s proximity - both geographically and historically - to this art movement was also a point of research.

Hoffman was a recipient of the Carol Schlosberg Memorial Prize for excellence in Painting from Yale University. In 2017, she was one of three Artist in Residence at QueenSpace in Long Island City. Hoffman was also the 2017 Van Lier Fellow at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City where her solo Fellow Focus exhibition, Pieceable Kingdom was on display until April 8th, 2018. 

Landing (Mist Parts Over Columbus Circle), 2017, medical records, credit card offers, tiki decorations, nature calendars, plastic tablecloths, plastic bags, Dora the Explorer puzzle pieces, photo, maps and oil on chicken wire and wood, 48 x 66 x 4 inches. Courtesy of the artist.


Learn more about the artist here

The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.