Born 1964, Australian/American
For the past 35 years, Timothy Horn’s work has explored the tensions between the organic and artificial, the minuscule and monumental, and the masculine and feminine. Horn’s work embraces several disciplines and draws from a broad bank of skills and materials, including cast glass, blown glass, various metals, transparent rubber and sugar. A selection of Horn’s “Tree of Heaven” and “Gorgonian” series appeared in the 2022 exhibition “Forces of Nature” at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC. Two primary sources inspire these works: 17th-century Baroque jewelry patterns by Gilles Legaré, court jeweler to Louis XIV; and 19th-century studies of environmentally sensitive organisms such as lichen, coral, and seaweed, found in zoologist Ernst Haeckel’s book Art Forms in Nature. Beginning with the silhouette of an historical piece of jewelry projected at a much larger scale, Horn drafts a working pattern with the addition of grafted imagery of natural forms. He then sets about fabricating a tree-like structure in wax, to be cast in bronze and nickel-plated. Pearls become large baroque forms in mirrored blown glass.
The focus of Horn’s work is the meeting point between the natural and constructed worlds, where he attempts to locate the area of slippage between the organic and artificial. Scale is important, but he also chooses to work with materials for their inherent physical and metaphorical qualities. In 2008 the fabled “Amber Room” belonging to Catherine the Great of Russia, considered “the eighth wonder of the world”, inspired a crystallized rock sugar encrusted carriage for Horn’s exhibition Bitter Suite at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. Inspired by 19th-century zoologist Ernst Haeckel’s engravings of jellyfish, he began an ongoing series of large works made of transparent rubber, that culminated in his first solo exhibition in New York, Villa Medusa in 2006.
Horn’s work has been acquired by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; the Fine Arts Museum San Francisco; the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney; the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. His work has featured in major exhibitions at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA; the Weatherspoon Art Museum, in Greensboro, NC; the Museum of Art and Design in New York, NY; and GOMA in Brisbane, Australia. Horn has received grants from the Pollock Krasner Foundation; Massachusetts Cultural Council; LEF New England; the Australia Council for the Arts; and a Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Award. Residencies include the British School in Rome; Yaddo in upstate New York; the Fine Art Works Center in Provincetown; and the Lux Art Institute in Southern California.
Timothy Horn lives and works in Truro, Massachusetts. Born in Melbourne, Australia, he studied Sculpture at the Victorian College of the Arts and then Glass at the Australian National University. A Samstag Scholarship brought him to the US in 2002, where he completed graduate study at Massachusetts College of Art.