Hillary Holsonback: Pinups
Five Dallas Art Shows You Must See This DecemberNatalie Gempel, D Magazine, December 2, 2019
The 22 Best Things To Do in Dallas This WeekEva Raggio, Dallas Observer, December 1, 2019
The gallery is pleased to announce the Dallas solo debut of Hillary Holsonback. The exhibition entitled Pinups is the artist’s second exhibition with the gallery and features four large-scale photographs as well as a series of six smaller Polaroids. Continuing her exploration of the intersection between self-portraiture, glamour, and advertising, the artist employs photography, performance, video and social media to address contemporary feminine identity. Central to her artistic practice is the idiosyncratic process of projecting still images of Golden Age film stars onto her studio wall, which she then moves in front of and through while documenting the gesture – thus creating a new image entirely. The resulting performative photographs are evocative of Marlo Pascual’s photos-as-objects, Cindy Sherman’s depictions of female archetypes or Robert Heineken’s paraphotography. In her two most recent series, Strong Female Lead and Cheesecake, the artist posits monumental, tacked prints of Austrian silent film stars (Fred Louis Lerch, Egon von Jordan, and Alphons Fryland) alongside intimate, framed 2x3½ inch Polaroids of anonymous pin-up models – both of which she distorts, amplifies, and blends with her own body as it punctuates the picture plane. While the artist’s movement becomes a colorful brushstroke across the distinguished black and white headshots of the men, her glitter-covered face exaggerates the ersatz glam embedded within the impromptu backdrop of the low budget photography studio. Holsonback’s transformative use of self continues to subtly prompt questions about the representation of women in society. To quote the artist, “Our identities are made of up of every single advertisement, commercial, and mediated image we’ve ever experienced.” It is exactly this tension between the stark, frontal gaze of the original images, the artist’s fluid, diaphanous body, and the viewer’s reciprocal gaze that establishes a formally compelling and conceptually rich space for contemplation.
Hillary Holsonback (b. 1988, Dallas, TX) lives and works in Dallas, TX. She received a MFA and a BA from the University of Texas at Dallas. Her work was featured in I’m Looking Through You, a two-person exhibition (alongside Danielle Georgiou) at Horton Gallery, New York in 2012. She has been featured in group exhibitions at the Dallas Contemporary, Site 131, Dallas; and Barry Whistler Gallery, among others. The Dallas Observer recently named Holsonback (@hilly_holsonback / @tan.is.here) one of the “Dallas Artists You Should Be Following on Instagram.”