Jessica Jackson Hutchins
16 Feb – 12 May 2013
American artist Jessica Jackson Hutchins (b. 1971, Chicago, USA) made her solo debut in a UK public gallery with this new body of work for The Hepworth Wakefield.
Often taking found objects and discarded domestic items as a starting point for her sculptures, collages and prints, Hutchins transforms life into art, marrying the everyday with a wealth of universal references.
At the centre of the exhibition were three impressively scaled canvas pieces using industrial metal ladders as both base and prop. Conceived as paintings within space, these ladders are draped with painted and collaged canvasses of sumptuous hues. With vulnerability as a key theme in Hutchins’ work, these half-paintings half-sculptures embody fragility as they expose the workings of their own construction.
In addition several works bear large hand-moulded ceramic vessels that mimic the human body’s weight, imperfections and frailty. Hutchins’ handmade ceramics and other highly tactile techniques make a direct link to Hepworth’s hard-won connection and freedom that she found eventually in using plaster as a material in which to sculpt.
Together with her works within the gallery spaces, Hutchins created an outdoor hanging sculpture to be installed in the trees of the gallery garden, adjacent to Barbara Hepworth’s The Family of Man, 1970.
These works toured to CentrePasquArt, Kunsthaus Centre D’art, Biel, Switzerland in June 2013.
Exhibition supported by The Henry Moore Foundation