Camille Hoffman's current work is a mixed-media meditation on Manifest Destiny and its representation in the romantic American landscape. Reflecting on the embedded and latent meanings around light, nature, the frontier, borders, race, gender and power in influential American landscape paintings of the 19th century, she uses materials collected from her everyday life, including holiday-themed tablecloths, discarded medical records, nature calendars, plastic bags and paint, to craft imaginary landscapes that are grounded in accumulation, personal narrative and historical critique. Her paintings and installations are layered geographies, in which these fragments of cultural objects are chromatically twisted and blended into complex wholes. Taking inspiration from the Philippine weaving and the Jewish folk traditions of her ancestors, along with traditional landscape painting techniques from her academic training, she interweaves image with refuse in order to reveal seamless yet textured transcultural contradictions. Disrupting visual perception, her scraps of materials take on new life, becoming a vehicle of territorial reclamation and spiritual agency for the artist amid the pressures of economic and political globalization in the anthropocene.
Camille Hoffman (b. 1987, Chicago, IL) earned an MFA from Yale University (2015), a BFA from California College of the Arts (2009), and was a recipient of the Carol Schlosberg Memorial Prize for excellence in painting from Yale University, a National Endowment for the Arts scholarship, a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for research in Spain, and the Van Lier Fellowship from the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD). She has exhibited her work throughout the United States and in Europe, and has been featured in publications including Art in America and The New Yorker. Solo exhibitions include Excelsior: Ever Upward, Ever Afloat at the Queens Museum (2019), Pieceable Kingdom at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY (2018), and Rockabye My Bedrock Bones at False Flag Projects, Long Island City, NY (2018). Prominent group exhibitions and venues include Here We Land at Wave Hill (2019), A Thousand Plateaus at Jenkins Johnson Gallery, LifeWtr Open Gallery at Lincoln Center and Times Square, New York, NY (2017), Music and Conversation at Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT (2015), Nuit Blanche Arts Festival, Paris, France (2015), and Espai Cultural Biblioteca Azorín, Valencia, Spain (2008). Hoffman has been an artist-in-residence in programs including Lower Manhattan Cultural Council SU-CASA (2019), Children's Museum of Manhattan, New York, NY (2018), Wave Hill Winter Workspace, Bronx, NY (2018), QueenSpace, Long Island City, NY (2016-17), Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY (2017), and the Yale University Office of New Haven and State Affairs, New Haven, CT (2015). Hoffman has also worked for over a decade as an arts educator and community organizer in Phoenix, the San Francisco Bay Area, New Haven, Brooklyn, and Queens. She currently lives and works in New York, NY, and teaches at Cooper Union and Bennington College.
Photo credit: Adrián S. Bará