American, b. 1944
Ex, 1971 (Refabricated 2020)
Wood and steel
9 ft. 1 in. x 60 in. x 20 in. (276.9 x 152.4 x 50.8 cm)
Gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation
Photo by Jerry L. Thompson
Ex, a totemic wood assemblage, is composed of simple geometric forms. Various rectangular wood blocks are attached to a central vertical piece. A single notch, approximately one-third of the way down from the top, animates the work. A separate timber attached to the back is set at an oblique angle, forming the work’s X shape, which inspired its title. The wood elements are found railroad ties; undecorated and essential forms which in their arrangement hint at remnants of fallen architecture. The artist says, “in order for sculpture to work, it has to get up in the air.” Hawkins focuses on balance, gravity, and sculptural material to imbue Ex with a sense of lightness. After being shown in a 1974 exhibition of large-scale outdoor sculpture, Sculpture in the Fields, the work was purchased by Storm King Art Center.