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Jim Hodges

A Diary of Flowers—Above the Clouds

1995

Jim Hodges uses a wide range of media to explore universal themes such as life, death, nature, beauty, and the passing of time. A Diary of Flowers—Above the Clouds was part of a room-sized installation of 565 pen-and-ink drawings of flowers, each made on a generic paper napkin, resembling the kind of doodles one might make in a coffee shop or restaurant while waiting to be served. Hodges employed a wide variety of styles—so wide, in fact, that the viewer might wonder whether he made all of the drawings or merely collected them. Flowers have traditionally been symbols of precarious beauty, and Hodges intensifies that connotation by linking them with one of our culture’s most ephemeral materials, common disposable napkins.

Jim Hodges (b. 1957, Spokane, Washington; lives and works in New York)
A Diary of Flowers—Above the Clouds, 1995
Ink on 100 napkins with pins
56 x 100 in.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Purchased with funds provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., and Councilman Joel Wachs

I felt that I was part of a long tradition investigating what beauty is all about—the mystery of it, the elusiveness of it. So, I set out to understand what that word meant for me. In a way, it’s something that’s been a topic of investigation for me for a while. —Jim Hodges

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