kaufmann repetto now represents Cynthia Hawkins

kaufmann repetto is pleased to announce the representation of cynthia hawkins.

Cynthia Hawkins’ artworks explore the potential of combining abstraction and non-objectivity in painting. Hawkins often approaches her creative process with a premeditated strategy, while still leaving room for improvisation, aiming to continuously develop her strong painting vocabulary. Hawkins holds a doctorate in American Studies from the University of Buffalo, SUNY, and is a longtime teacher, curator, and scholar. Her academic interests have led her into a deep study of the history of 20th century abstract painting, which has stimulated in her artistic practice a constant, formal reinvention of techniques as a fundamental task of painting. Today, Hawkins paintings are compositions that evolve into distinct layers, as divergent realities are reveled through transparencies and breaks across the canvas.

Hawkins was a part of the Black-owned gallery scene in New York City during the 1970s and the ’80s; exhibiting at Just Above Midtown (JAM), Cinque Gallery, and Kenkeleba Gallery. Hawkins early works dwelt on fundamentals of space and spacetime, investigating three and four dimensional movements, while the late ’90s saw a shift towards the abstraction of references from the physical world. Re-inventing forms taken from astrophysics, microbiology, ancient cave painting, and mathematics, Hawkins built an ecosystem of forms mixing symbols, signs, geometric counters, and calligraphic marks. Hawkins compares the approach of abstraction in visual arts to jazz music, where “elements are call and response, movements, and color. They create and orchestrate a compositional whole that results in a musical composition, or a two dimensional composition of color, lines and shape.”

Hawkins overturns the assumption of figuration as a political approach, using the non-objectivity of her chromatic forms as a social chance for the painting. The interconnectedness between the numerous elements in the composition elevate the painterly beyond mere expressionism: “I might open a door to an alternative way of thinking and looking.”

Hawkins’ solo exhibitions include Signs of Civilization, Universidad de las Americas, Puebla (2019); Clusters: Stellar and Earthly, Buffalo Science Museum, Buffalo (2009); Selected Works: 1990 – 1996, Queens College Art Center, Queens College, Flushing (1997). Her work has been included in Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2022); Women Enchanting the Muses, Clark Atlanta University Art Gallery, Atalanta (2013); 25 Years of African American Art, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (1995).

Hawkins’ work is in many permanent collections, including The Horseman Foundation, St. Louis; La Grange Art Museum, La Grange; Bertha V.B. Lederer Gallery, SUNY Geneseo; Experimental Printmaking Institution, Lafayette College, Easton; Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library, CUNY, Queens College, New York; Rockland Community College, SUNY; The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York; Kenkeleba Gallery, New York; Trinity Lutheran Church, New Milford; Frances Wolfson Art Center, Miami-Dade Community College, Miami; Department of State, Washington; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; The Printmaking Workshop, New York.

kaufmann repetto represents Cynthia Hawkins in collaboration with Paula Cooper Gallery, New York and STARS Gallery, Los Angeles.