Set in Stone: At 86, Sculptor Kay Hofmann Is Making Waves in Chicago
Art Business

Set in Stone: At 86, Sculptor Kay Hofmann Is Making Waves in Chicago

Installation view of “Kay Hofmann: pour toujours,” 2019, at Patron gallery, Chicago. COURTESY THE ARTIST AND PATRON GALLERY There is something about stone that has always moved artist Kay Hofmann. For the past six decades, the Rockford, Illinois–based sculptor has worked that material with her hands, shaping marble, alabaster, and granite into graceful forms that resemble women in motion. Often swathed in billowy folds, her semi-abstract figures appear as emergent forces, caught surfacing from their carapaces. On a recent weekend at Chicago’s Patron gallery , where she’s having her first commercial show in 30 years (through Sunday), Hofmann tried to explain the compulsion that birthed the gleaming pieces that surrounded her. “I can look at a piece of stone for five minutes, and oh my god, there’s something already in there,” she said. “I just can’t help but do what I do.” Now 86, Hofmann continues to work every day. She can regularly be found hauling heavy material into her studio, despite her grandson’s exasperated pleas that she stop doing this. She still eschews power tools, and she showed me one of her thumbnails, which she keeps long, so that she can wrap it in sandpaper for polishing creases […]

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