Although trained as a painter, Jim Hodges’ work does not fit into any one prescribed category of art. Since the 1980s he has created a body of work that encompasses a multitude of themes that explore mortality, nature, time and illusion. Inspired by his friend and contemporary, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Hodges’ unconventional use of disparate materials engages both the quotidian and the intangible. From the prefabricated debris of napkins, scotch tape, and metal chain, to the indefinable qualities of light and nature itself, his media juxtaposes the familiar with the unfathomable.
A small spider web at Hodges' solo show at CRG ART in 1994 was described as, “a monument to the ephemeral, an attempt to bronze the intangible” (Matthew Weinstein, "Jim Hodges," Art Forum, May 1994). Sometimes constructed in multiple layers and consisting of numerous webs as well as fabric flowers, Not for Long, is a single, shimmery web made up of 14 concentric circles. Its lightness is complimented by a striking density that illuminates the space it occupies. The title indicates that this object is a symbol of the passage of time. Rendered in jewelers’ metal chain, the ephemeral becomes timeless, the aged and decayed transforms into something peculiar and fresh. Similar to the series of flower curtains that he would later construct, Hodges’s spider webs remind us of the value in the mundane; the emotional weight held by something ordinarily ignored or overlooked.
The spider webs can be seen as an extension of Hodges’s interest in line drawing. Not for Long is at once a kinetic object, trapping and reflecting back the light around it, as well as a simple line drawing, floating and weightless in space. The transformative nature of Hodges’s spider webs suggests the passage of time and the mystery of what has the potential to be tangled in them. They teeter between the artificial and the natural, poetically evoking the delicate strength and engineering brilliance of the eight-legged architect they mimic.