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Zoe Hawk Biography

Zoe Hawk’s paintings delve into the world of adolescence, depicting groups of girls within carefully constructed scenes: at school, in the home, or in nature. Themes of gendered socialization, anxiety, group dynamics, and performance are addressed within scenes of girlhood play and interactions, often stylistically referencing children’s storybook illustrations.

Upon first glance, the narratives depicted Hawk’s the paintings seem to be sweet and somewhat familiar, yet upon closer inspection they take a more mysterious and unsettling scene unfolds. Hawk’s paintings explore in innocence, curiosity, violence and fear, as she investigates the complex experience of coming of age.

The rendered costumes, colorful dresses, mournful funeral attire, and identical uniforms signify various modes of feminine identity, and set the stage for the subject’s interactions. An intricate play of yearning, contention, camaraderie, and mischief develops between these characters as they navigate their own little worlds—somewhere between childhood and adulthood, between fairy tales and the dark realities of womanhood.

Zoe Hawks (b. 1982, St Louis Missouri) lives and works in Colombia, Missouri. She received her BFA at Missouri State University, Springfield, MO (2005) and MFA in Drawing and Painting at University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (2005). Solo exhibitions include George Caleb Bingham Gallery, Direction Gallery Printmaking Staging Space, and Glass Rice around the United States. Recent major international exhibitions include Contemporary Art Qatar (2017); Unfolding Creative Methods: 2016/2017 AIR Exhibition (2017); Artspital Healing Project (2012). Published in JOIA Magazine (2016); BLINK Magazine (2014), New American Paintings (2011).

Past Exhibition

From Pangs to Pangolins


Curated by Trenton Doyle Hancock

Zoe Hawk’s paintings delve into the world of adolescence, depicting groups of girls within carefully constructed scenes: at school, in the home, or in nature. Themes of gendered socialization, anxiety, group dynamics, and performance are addressed within scenes of girlhood play and interactions, often stylistically referencing children’s storybook illustrations. Upon first glance, the narratives depicted […]