An award-winning sculptor, Lee Hoag has a unique approach to assemblage that was first formed while studying painting during the late 1970s at San Francisco Art Institute, a school with a long history of breaking down walls between disciplines. He credits his studies with several formidable and influential artist-teachers, well known for their painting-sculpture hybrids, for transforming his vision.
A career highlight to begin the millennium, Hoag did a week-long artist-in-residence at
Freiluftgalerie Stotteritz (an outdoor sculpture garden) in Leipzig, Germany. Following a visit the previous year, he was invited to create a new work for their annual invitational exhibition, that year named, “Kopf Los 2000.”
Hoag, an NTID trained sign language interpreter, recently retired following a 30 year career as an educational interpreter. The following year he staged a multimedia retrospective exhibition, HOAG/25 YEARS, at RIT/NTID Dyer Arts Center, Ohringer Gallery, where he lives in Rochester, NY. Hoag's sculpture, “What A Blast” (2016) is on display in the permanent collection there at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, and is dedicated to the legacy of his late father, Dr. Ralph L. Hoag, who played a lead role in the 1960s with others in the origin and establishment of NTID.
My sculptures are assembled constructions. They are made mostly from manufactured objects collected for their material makeup of wood, ceramic, metal, rubber or plastic, as well as their color, texture and shape. As I place different objects beside or on top of another, new forms and relationships become apparent to me. Guided by a developed intuition, allowing for the element of chance and tapping into my subconscious musings, the ideas begin to emerge.
My process is a transformative. It takes the familiar assigned vocabulary of our shared language, which once labeled these objects for their previous intended purposes, and turns it into something else. As an amalgam of previously unrelated objects, alternative associations come to mind. The transformation is a metaphysical change akin to alchemy, a practice that informs my work. By converting everyday objects and the words used to define them, their former individuality becomes all together something new and previously unimagined.
These new object fusions insist that the viewer venture past the mere mechanics of looking, and be enabled to see. This is much different and goes deeper below the surface. Instigated by imagination, art is a work of magic between the artist and the artwork, between the artwork and the viewer. Therein transforms the seer. The new object-forms elicit this seeing and the ensuing self-metamorphosis it triggers, mine and yours. While shaped by the hand of my personal aesthetic, they are left marked in some way by the viewer's own encounter, response and interpretations—changed.