Artforum: Julian Hoeber

November 27, 2015

Danica Sachs

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Julian Hoeber
By: Danica Sachs

Julian Hoeber’s exhibition “The Inward Turn” pivots around the idea of an imaginary airport terminal from which people take off only to return to the same point, as if traveling the length of a Mobius strip or circumnavigating a Klein bottle. In the paintings, sculptures, and drawings on view here, Hoeber’s metaphor of futile movement manifests in repeated forms, echoing back and forth across media.

The artist approached the making of these works with an eye informed by a childhood surrounded by architects and engineers. Clustered on the back wall of the gallery is a group of drawings, including Angular to Curved Experiments 1&2 (all works cited, 2015), and different versions of the artist’s “Going Nowhere Plan” that operate as blueprints for the sculptures and paintings that dominate the space. A set of bookshelves adjacent to the drawings, Form Index, display miniature iterations of the larger sculptures in the center of the gallery, similarly showcasing the feedback loop of forms at play. These sculptures, presented like specimens on glass atop wood trestles, resemble models more than discrete artworks. Their rigidity—constructed from materials such as foamcore, plywood, and Ultracal cement—gives way to softer, biomorphic forms in the paintings. Rendered in bodily pinks and beiges, Hoeber’s delicate images depict mysterious interlocking skeletal structures, as in Ruminating Elevation, and labyrinthine enteric diagrams, as in Intestinal Floorplan/Security Apparatus. This slippage from hard to soft, geometric to biomorphic, three dimensional to two dimensional, underscores the paradox of inertia in Hoeber’s metaphor.

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