Public Art

Tim Hawkinson

Tim Hawkinson was born and raised in San Francisco and San Mateo County. He attended San Jose State University and currently resides in Los Angeles. Mr. Hawkinson is well-known for creating complex sculptural systems that are often mechanized. Characterized by wit, humor and a passion for invention, his artwork reflects his endless curiosity in his own body, music, spirituality and the passage of time. His works range from fashioning an enormous functional organ from balloons, latex, cardboard and mechanical parts to creating a large teddy bear for the Stuart Collection at the University of California, San Diego from huge found boulders towering over 20 feet high and weighing a total of 180 tons. Mr. Hawkinson has participated in numerous exhibitions in the United States and abroad, including the Venice Biennale in 1999, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in 2000, the Whitney Biennial in 2002 and the 2003 Corcoran Biennial in Washington, D.C. His first survey exhibition was co-organized by the Whitney Museum in New York and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2005. Mr. Hawkinson is represented by PaceWildenstein.

Mr. Hawkinson, who is a highly sought after artist and quite selective about the projects he accepts, was selected by the Transbay Art Steering Committee because of his originality and inquisitive nature. Sited in Mission Square, near the corner of Mission and Fremont, Mr. Hawkinson’s work will be a signature piece for the Transit Center, marking the grand entrance to the facility and serving as an iconic image for the neighborhood. The artist’s concept is unique and consistent with the sustainable objectives of the Transbay Transit Center. Mr. Hawkinson will salvage some of the demolished material from the former Transbay Terminal to reconstruct a figure to welcome travelers to the new Transit Center. The sculpture will be approximately 41 feet high and is constructed almost entirely from the demolished remains of the original terminal. The artist sees the sculpture as a “guardian,” intended to help travelers navigate a safe journey.

The sculpture project proposed by Tim Hawkinson for Mission Square has been cancelled due to unanticipated challenges related to the complex engineering of the sculpture, scheduling and budgetary issues. The Transbay Joint Powers Authority and the San Francisco Arts Commission regret that we are not able to realize the unique and site specific sculpture proposed by the artist.