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 Molly Hill  (21st century)

About: Molly Hill
 

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Lived/Active: Idaho/Washington      Known for: narrative, symbolic, metaphoric painting, oriental influence

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from Auction House Records.
Meiwun's Exotic Bird Preserve, 2004
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Brumfield LLC:
Molly Hill's art is a mix of narratives as the artist darts to and from new and revisited symbolic visual language. An homage to an Asian cultural aesthetic has been a continuing preoccupation of the artist and remains a strong feature in her work. This unapologetic appropriation in Hill’s work is actually an expression of the artist’s own personality, rather than any attempt to exploit. She sees the theme, as a vehicle to explore imagery that she is “obsessively curious about, intrigued by, and compelled to investigate”. In effect she has created her own world through an amalgamation of visual aspects drawn from the traditions and rituals of strong cultures, and her own experience of the human society – A world in which she feels comfortable and that says more about Hill’s own identity than the actual subject matter - In her words, “a kind of metaphor for the artist, saying on the canvas what the artist perhaps cannot verbalize”.

Although she enjoys the appreciation her work attracts, she shuns the spotlight when it is focused on her, preferring to communicate through her paintings. This communication is candid and forthright. Hill places figures within the composition as decorative elements in a tableau. They appear to have a limited interaction with the depicted events or other players in the scene. Instead they nearly always hold a direct gaze with the viewer. This device creates a slightly awkward nature to the work that is quite charming. With economy of line and color Hill paints engaging faces that demand our attention.

A longstanding interest in Chinese culture and history was realized in 2007, when the artist had the opportunity to tour a number of historical sites throughout China. She received a grant from the Idaho Commission on the Arts to mount a one-person exhibit of the resulting work, titled ‘China Daydream’ at J Crist Gallery.  She continues to revisit the themes explored in this body of work remarking that, “Art influences art. It all gets absorbed and assimilated and re-interpreted, and over time what we call a style emerges. Everything has something to do with everything else, so words that try to explain it don't always fit into a neatly wrapped package. I try to speak simply and still say something.”
 
Although Hill had always painted, describing herself as a ‘closet artist’, she did not pursue art as a vocation until relatively late. She had already had a corporate career and her daughter was grown before she received her BFA from Boise State University in 1997 and was accepted into the University of Washington's MFA program in 1998. Over the past twelve years she has established a deserved reputation with galleries representing her work in both Idaho and Washington, and has work in Boise Art Museum’s permanent collection.


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