Ira Hoffecker, "Cleeve Common," 2016
Ira Hoffecker, "Cleeve Common," 2016, acrylic on birch wood panel, 36” x 48”
Maps and shifting civic identities fascinate German-born artist Ira Hoffecker. Cities are in constant flux, with construction and reconstruction, decay and renewal. Similar processes are also part of making art, which allows Hoffecker to see her work as a metaphor for memory.
Her paintings hover between abstraction and the graphic language of mapping, featuring everything from roads to the geometric shapes of buildings, at times in a deliberate way, and at others in more impressionistic fashion. In many paintings she separates layers of paint with resin to create perceptual and conceptual depth, much like archeological strata.
“I am interested in the different historic layers of a city,” says Hoffecker, who has lived in many cities, including Berlin and Paris, and had a career in film marketing before moving to Victoria. When she undertakes a project in a new city, her research takes several forms. “I walk its streets to feel the atmosphere. I look at maps and study history books to learn about which historic events happened in which places in a city.”
One recent body of work explores Berlin over the last 150 years. “Instead of trying to forget and suppress it is important to remember,” she says. “Only if we accept our past as part of our heritage and learn from it can we be responsible citizens in the present.”
Hoffecker, who graduated from the University of Gloucestershire in Britain last year, has had recent exhibitions in Britain and Germany, and is starting MFA studies at the Transart Institute, an international school that offers low-residency degrees.
Ira Hoffecker is represented on Vancouver Island by The Gallery at Mattick’s Farm and the Sooke Harbour House Art Gallery, and in Edmonton at the Front Gallery, where her show runs Oct. 14 to Nov. 10. Her work sells for $800 to $6,000.