Alba Hodsoll’s (b. 1990) work is inspired by bodily activity, the notion of sexual arousement and how that might imbue the painter’s subjectivity to the use of pornography in her artistic practice. Much attention has remarkably pinpointed the abstraction’s potential to provide fragmented or seemingly unfinished configurations on the artist’s canvases. Either through bold expressionistic brushwork or elliptic lines, figurative or abstract methodology, Hodsoll eagerly engages with the principals of abstraction. The British artist’s paintings introduce human body parts that represent painted depictions of sexual intercourse. Naked bodies, executed in deep red and black hues, clearly dominate her work showcasing an intense body language. Furthermore, the artworks feature ambiguously dynamic shapes and forms, usually over monochromatic negative spaces.
Words: Yannis Kostarias
Her latest work also presents more abstract results in ink and coloured pencil on paper. A great contrast is revealed on white canvases filled up with red lines, suggesting body parts and movements. In many recent works, the artist paints over natural or even unsophisticated thin lines of red, resembling uncanny and flailing shapes; beautifully disturbing forms illustrate less flattering silhouettes along with floppy and almost plastic body images. Hodsoll’s recent artistry seems to trigger greater ambiguity, which skillfully stands between energetic fluidity and sharp flexibility of the feminine physical presence. That physicality, truthfully, displays evocative expressions of nudity on canvas, commencing more intellectual discussions about the human existence.
Hodsoll’s imagery has also put on the microscope pure erotic scenes painted with anatomical precision. Dynamic compositions are painted by a female mind, rendering a more subjective approach and emotional grounds. Almost always when looking closely, the viewer’s eyes come across images of erotic fantasy. Sexual penetration takes place in various positions and colourful depictions where the vagina looks like more than a passage for an erect penis. Body geometries function as another experiment for the artist to manoeuvre between abstract and figurative arrangements. Fragments of anatomy, such as inconsistently-shaped buttocks and unbalanced limbs, construct a vague imagery either allowing the eye to stick briefly to the details or get lost in a complete abstract composition. Mirroring such images, Hodsoll’s paintings remarkably unveil creative tensions between experimentation, openness and inner investigation through her ambiguous artistic gesture, geometric adaptability and sensual potency.
Alba Hodsoll (b. 1990) is an emerging British artist who is living and working in London. In 2015, she graduated with honours in a BA in Visual and Critical Studies from at School of Visual Arts in New York. Hodsoll has widely presented her work in the United Kingdom, the United States and France. COB-based art gallery in London represents the artist.
Art Verge: Can you tell us about the process of making your work?
Alba Hodsoll: It can be very uncomfortable. Some days it masks itself as the most important thing in existence and others (most) it all seems a bit silly.
AV: How would you define your work in few words (ideally in 3 words)?
AH: Process of elimination.
AV: Can you name any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?
AH: Maria Lassnig, Francesca Woodman, Rachel Whiteread, Francais Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, louise bourgeois, Tracy Emin.
AV: Creating a new painting can be a solitary process. If this applies to you, when you concentrate on a new artwork does it affect your social life at all?
AH: The two don’t seem to be able to co-exist.
AV: How do you know when an artwork is finished?
AH: When the loathing voice in my head is silent.
AV: What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space like, and how does it affect your process?
AH: I’ve never seemed to be able to make work in a “studio” space…it all feels too dictated, demanded etc.. what I call my studio is my old bedroom in my parent’s old house. I started making paintings in there when there was still a bed in the middle of the room taking up most of the space..slowly the bed moved out, but not much else has changed.
AV: Which exhibition did you visit last?
AH: Paula Rego at The Tate Britain.
AV: What do you hope audiences will take from your work?
AH: Uninterrupted time.
AV: What does your mum think about your art?
AH: She is always right there, in the middle of it, understanding it, seeing it, without discussion before hand.
AV: Are you a morning person or a night owl?
AH: Ask my mum! I am so excruciatingly maladjusted upon waking up, by the time it’s night I am just about settled. I have never felt lonely in the night, only the day.
AV: Is the glass half empty or half full?
AH: That very much depends on the color of the glass.
© All images are courtesy of Alba Hodsoll and COB Gallery