Caleb Hahne: The Earth, It Held Me @ 1969 Gallery, NYC
1969 Gallery presents The Earth, It Held Me, Caleb Hahne’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, featuring 8 new paintings and 5 works on paper. In some of Hahne’s most personal works to date, he explores the natural world, his spiritual connection to his environment, and a period of time marked by personal growth and discovery of self.
Hahne’s works are not only snapshots of his life, but memories. He is not interested in the objective truth (as memories can be false), but in his own truth — his perception of events, transformed from the mundane into the monumental. His figures are contemplative and on the verge of an action. Some look away from the viewer, while others confront them, willing them to ask, “who is this person and what are they thinking?” or maybe “what are they waiting for?” Marcus, a figure that appears in several works, looks into the viewer’s eyes, first at a distance, guarded and holding a sword for protection; then later, closer, intimately. He remains guarded, but there is something deeper, a longing threatening to escape through his gaze. Perhaps he is asking himself if he must always remain so cautious or if he can let us into his world.
In Limpia, a white horse gallops through a purple field, interrupting the darkness with a brilliant glow. White horses hold deep spiritual meaning across many religions, often symbolizing purity, freedom, and personal growth; but they can also be an omen for impending death. In Caleb’s case, there is a motif of both life and death; and then rebirth, as these characters experience maturation and self-discovery, leaving the old behind and welcoming the new. Lastly, in The Other Side Is The Day (Self Portrait In Blue), a self-portrait, Hahne turns his back to us, and to his past, looking out onto the rising sun cutting through the same purple field. He is awake and anew, now dawning a bow without an arrow, a symbol of strength and power, and a new sense of direction.
The Earth, It Held Me will conclude with the release of a catalog by the same name, featuring Caleb Hahne’s works on paper and excerpts from his diaries.