The vivid memories brought on by Hodges' sculpture took Viso, who has been director of
"It made such an impact on me," Viso said. "What struck me so much is having this very personal connection and reflection in this public space. There was something very interesting about being in a public space in a gallery and being taken to a place where I could almost smell my mother's perfume.
It brought back memories of my childhood."
She added: "He creates these conditions where those kinds of connections can happen -- where it's really raw. For me, that was a really disruptive moment I'll never forget. I think everyone has an experience where they see an artwork that really has an impact."
As a museum director, Viso doesn't usually curate shows, but she felt such a strong connection to Hodges' work she teamed up with
"I like things that push me out onto an edge," Hodges said. "And I think a loaded material provides that really well because it can go the wrong direction so quickly. And I like it possibly going the wrong direction and at times falling off the edge. It's great.
It's wonderful and exciting to fall and make horrible mistakes sometimes."
There's a lovely thoughtfulness about his work. Delicate, beautiful, honest are words used to describe his art, which has been inspired by everything from his longtime relationship with nature to the loss of people in his life, including friends during the height of the AIDS crisis.
"I like to think about the work as Jim trying to create these conditions for response -- that they're meditations," Viso said. "They're not singular statements. You don't create them in that way, but they're meditative gestures and actions that create these conditions for response that can be very different for everyone. The materials he uses are things that are often loaded with associations, histories, memories, shared experiences."
The show debuted last fall in
"I don't limit myself to any one way of doing something," Hodges said. "I try to stay open to the possibilities of experiences and the kind of stimulation or inspiration of events and material -- whether that be in the classroom, an exhibition experience like this or in my studio. It's not just one direction."
Hodges said he felt a mix of surprise, excitement and flattery when he was asked to do this first comprehensive survey of his work.
"I have benefited from the kindness of strangers," Hodges said. "People have been generous with me and offered me opportunities, and I've had the good fortune to often, but not always, rise to the occasion of those opportunities. That's been my good fortune."
When: Opens Saturday; continues through
Info: 612-375-7600 or walkerart.org
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