“Counting, Still Counting…” by Pat Hickman is on view Feb. 5-March 29, 2021 at Buster Levi Gallery in Cold Springs, NY
Hickman’s installation consists of a narrow, linear strip of hash marks, 4 to 8 in. wide. The marks encircle the gallery space. Counting surrounds us. It’s universal, this visual mark-making—recording, numbering, adding, tallying, measuring—a record of time. Archeological evidence suggests ancient cultures have kept track too. We are part of a human continuum, but perhaps now, for us personally, we’re counting more than ever before. It’s impossible to truly grasp thousands or millions, yet we’re hearing these numbers daily, of people who have fallen ill, of people who have died. We’ve been locked down, experienced loss close to home and across the world. What will we remember? The pandemic? Racial injustice and white supremacy? Fires and Floods? Hickman has chosen—with simple, familiar mark-making—to indicate the loss, these cumulative units suggesting what may be beyond our comprehension. Hickman’s installation is a room full of marks, marks made by hand, marks of the hand— counting life, counting death, counting time. Nails on the floor and in the window suggest more, more waiting to be counted, more loss to be measured, more to come. What is each of us counting? What am I counting? What does it add up to? What matters when life gets pared down? What’s it about? What’s IT?
Pat Hickman is a studio artist living in the Lower Hudson Valley. She is Professor Emerita of Art, University of Hawaii; her studio is in the Garnerville Arts and Industrial Center, NY. Hickman’s work is in major collections, including the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, The Oakland Museum, Denver Art Museum, Hawaii State Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, LongHouse Reserve Collection, etc. Her gate commission, Nets of Makali’i–Nets of the Pleiades, stands at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Hickman twice received NEA grants. In 2005, she became a Fellow of the American Craft Council. Hickman curated two traveling exhibits with catalogues: Innerskins/Outerskins: Gut and Fishskin and Baskets: Redefining Volume and Meaning. For further information, phickman.com