Cosmetic Justice: Ali Hval
Sculptures by Ali Hval
NIACC Art Gallery
Sept 1st - Oct 15th, 2021
The sculptural wall pieces I make are an unconventional marriage between era-specific jewelry, bodily forms, objects of pleasure, and home decor. The forms I use reflect my interest in adornment and the relentless critique and politicization of the body. They embrace, highlight, and empower sensuality and femininity rather than hiding or denying it, as well as acknowledging the awkwardness, humor, and performance that can come with it.
My work is a balancing act: one between the sensuality of forms and the innocence and playfulness of the materials I use: sparkling rhinestones, oversized plastic gems, feathery pom-poms, sumptuous fabrics, glossy vinyl, and liquid latex. My pieces are interdisciplinary, joining the craft-based mediums of
ceramics and fabric with painting and sculpture. I use ceramics in an
unconventional way where I begin a piece by creating a high-fired ceramic component then add rhinestones, fabric, and eyeshadow mixed into paint to create a finished piece.
Ali Hval currently lives and works in Iowa City. In 2019, she received her MFA with Honors at the University of Iowa in Painting and Drawing with a minor concentration in Ceramics. Her work is interdisciplinary, combining painting, fabric, ceramic, sculpture, and installation. She is a 2020 resident at the Chautauqua School of Art in Chautauqua, New York.
In 2015, she was chosen as one of ten recipients for the nationally competitive $15,000 Windgate Fellowship by the Center of Creativity, Craft, and Design in Asheville, North Carolina. Ali graduated summa cum laude with Honors from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa in 2015 with a BFA in Painting and Drawing.
She has had work in multiple exhibitions across the country, including Site: Brooklyn in New York, South Bay Contemporary in Los Angeles, and the Jackson Dinsdale Art Center at Hastings College curated by Kate Mothes.
Recent regional solo exhibitions include shows at the University of Iowa, University of Dubuque, Southeastern Community College, and the University of Madison-Wisconsin.
An avid muralist, she has completed over 20 public murals and projects in various communities across the US. You can find some of her murals here in Mason City!