Ania Hobson’s portraits of women, captured in moments of day-to-day life, stand perhaps in contrast to Barbara Kruger’s resounding knell of mortality. Yet this dialogue, between Hobson’s new body of work and the singular Kruger exhibited, reminds us that death, love and fear exist experientially in everyday moments, not as abstract concepts. Quotidian life overpowers symbolism, through the elevation of quiet human actions and moments. The work is being shown together now at Morgan Presents in NYC

Hobson’s work is concerned with the tension between her subject’s internal life and their existence in a populated space. In contrast, Kruger’s preoccupation remains famously with the circumstances of the world that we inhabit, and how external influences such as advertising and commerce, impact and even shape the reality of the individual. Hobson’s women can be understood as a stand-in for Kruger’s viewer, unable to escape the social conditions of the world around them. 

Formally, Hobson’s paintings relate to that of celebrated British artist Lucian Freud. Both artists share a concern with the tactile nature of paint and the impasto left behind from the moving brushstroke. In contrast to Freud, however, Hobson’s portraits do not meditate on the unvarnished or borderline grotesque elements of flesh, rather celebrating the individuality of each of her female subjects through their self-expression. 

This exhibition, as perhaps any juxtaposition, is concerned with moments of confrontation—occasionally overt, but for the most part implicit. The tension between our individual, autonomous constitution, and our necessarily social nature: the consequences that our expressions have on the world around us, and in turn on shaping others.