DISPATCH - JUNE 28, 2013 (6:30 p.m.)

EAST HAMPTON, NY-

Blink and you'll miss it. Buzzing by is Claus Hoie's solo show "Insects: Real and Imaginary." The exhibition closes on June 30 making this the final weekend to catch it before the artworks fly away like the subject of Hoie's watercolors.

"Insects: Real and Imaginary is on view at the Clinton Academy at the East Hampton Historical Society. By all accounts, the show is a good one.

The exhibition is an extensive survey of bold and colorful insect-inspired paintings by Claus Hoie (b. Stavanger, Norway, 1911 - d. East Hampton, NY, 2007). The watercolors on view were made in the last three decades of the artist's life. The exhibition includes paintings that have never been publically exhibited before plus artworks that have been shown in museums and galleries in New York and elsewhere.

The largest works on view represent Hoie's focus during his final years, according to the Helen and Claus Hoie Charitable Foundation. This group includes watercolors that were made for presentation at the National Academy of Design Museum.

"Insects: Real and Imaginary" was organized by the Helen and Claus Hoie Charitable Foundation.  An exhibition brochure contains an essay and is available at no charge.

"Queen Bee" by Claus Hoie, 2006. Watercolor, 23 x 33 1/2 inches. Private Collection. Photo by Gary Mamay.

Intellectual curiosity, imagination, and daily walks observing natural phenomena all served as motivation for Hoie's insect themes. The exhibition installation calls attention to Hoie's use of humor and fantasy, and to his inventive use of calligraphic qualities to emphasize traditional species names derived from 18th and 19th century scientific investigations.

Also highlighted are works that combine motifs to weave imaginary stories. One section in “Insect: Real and Imaginary" demonstrates Hoie's ability to turn a transparent blot of color into a spirited creature. His skill at exploring various tonalities and degrees of transparency is evident throughout.

"Ceraturgus Crusialis" by Claus Hoie, undated. Watercolor, 10 1/8 x 13 1/2 inches. Photo by Gary Mamay.

 

"Colosoma Scrutator" by Claus Hoie, undated. Watercolor, 11 5/8 x 16 5/8 inches. Photo by Gary Mamay.

The exhibition at Clinton Academy Museum arose from a wellspring of public interest after the opening of the permanent gallery of Hoie whaling themes, according to the Helen and Claus Hoie Charitable Foundation. The whaling-based artworks were inaugurated in 2011 at the East Hampton Town Marine Museum in 2011. Last year, selections were exhibited at the Bridgehampton Historical Society.

Hoie came from a Norwegian seafaring family. He is particularly well-known for his paintings relating to the sea, including sailing vessels, 19th century captain's logs, fish, mammals, and the legend of Moby Dick. He is also known for his paintings inspired by structures in the East Hampton Village Historic District. His studio-residence was nearby on a tributary of Town Pond in East Hampton, NY.

Claus Hoie in his studio. c. 1987.

Hoie studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and at Pratt Institute. His watercolors have been the subject of over 20 solo exhibitions in museums and galleries in the United States and Europe. A full career retrospective was organized by the Guild Hall Museum in 2004. Hoie’s work is part of many museum and private collections.

"Insects: Real and Imaginary" was organized by the Helen and Claus Hoie Charitable Foundation. An exhibition brochure contains an essay and is available at no charge.

BASIC FACTS: "Insects: Real and Imaginary" - a Survey of insect-inspired paintings by Claus Hoie - remains on view through June 30. The Clinton Academy Museum is open on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m.

The Clinton Academy Museum is located at 151 Main Street, East Hampton, NY 11937. www.easthamptonhistory.org.

For further information on Claus Hoie, contact the Helen and Claus Hoie Charitable Foundaton at hoiefoundation@gmail.com.

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