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Michael G. Bauer’s exhibition “HUGS!” is on view in Los Angeles at LSH CoLab now through January 16. Part of the space’s Artists Curating Artists series, curator Bettina Hubby has selected over 200 drawings for the show, which explore methods of communication through touch.
This extensive selection of works has been imagined in pen and ink on paper and made over the past decade. Rendered in varying forms of line work, Bauer’s subjects have all been captured in a moment of physical touch or embrace—something which has taken on a heavier significance after many months of social distancing.
“Being exposed to drawings about human connection can offer an alternative to the past four years of amplified conflict, unhelpful noise, and negative news. My ongoing goal through these drawings is to remind myself and the viewer to imagine and predict possibilities for closeness,” said the artist in a statement.
With numerical titles like Hug #30, Hug #51, Hug #123,and so on, viewers will experience a moment of joyful meditation brought on by the artist’s permeating optimism. Hugs we’re still thinking about include the two figures kissing in a swirl of wine-colored ink (Hug #48), a family embrace imagined in black cross-hatching marks (Hug #19), and a montage of smiles and cheek kisses framing a grinning trio (Hug #166).