NPR logo

Tim Hawkinson: Creating Art with Moving Parts

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4802237/4802238" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Tim Hawkinson: Creating Art with Moving Parts

Art & Design

Tim Hawkinson: Creating Art with Moving Parts

Tim Hawkinson: Creating Art with Moving Parts

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4802237/4802238" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Tim Hawkinson's art has been called slyly conceptual and a carnival sideshow, awe-inspiring and absurd. Sarah Spitz of member station KCRW reports on a mid-career retrospective of Hawkinson's work now on view in the artist's hometown of Los Angeles, where some of the challenges and contrasts in his work become evident.

The first thing visitors to the exhibit come upon is Pentecost, a massive tree with 12 Gumby-shaped figures sprawling on its giant branches. When a motion detector senses the viewer's presence, the figures begin striking the tree like a drum, each using a different body part.

Several of the works in the show react to human presence, and often suggest a spirituality that Hawkinson downplays in conversation. Co-curator Howard Fox calls Hawkinson's mechanized creations "metaphysical machines."

The exhibit can be seen at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art through Aug. 28.

Pentecost is among the 65 pieces on display in an L.A. exhibit organized with New York's Whitney Museum of Art, where it appeared earlier this year. Courtesy of Ace Gallery hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of Ace Gallery

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.