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Laurie Hogin

Peter Miller Gallery

Early in the 19th century Edward Hicks repeatedly painted William Penn amidst the becalmed beasts of the wild. Hicks’ Peaceable Kingdom embodied a precious hope of the Age of Reason: that in the new Eden of America, the aims of mankind and the dictates of nature had found a harmony reflecting an innate universal order. Laurie Hogin’s recent show of 16 paintings, entitled “Whose Woods Are These,” (all works 1990) suggests that things have irrevocably changed; Hicks’ Eden never existed, or at any rate has been hopelessly befouled, and human existence and environmental disorder are inexorably linked.

Like some Lewis Carroll nightmare, Hogin’s canvases are populated by freaks from the animal kingdom, grinning and scowling out at the humans responsible for their mutant condition. In Hogin’s bestiary, not only do rabbits sport leopard skins, lobsters glow blue, and birds flutter in spastic abandon,

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