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 which used industrial metal ladders as both base and prop. Conceived as paintings within space, these ladders were draped with painted and collaged canvasses of sumptuous hues. With vulnerability as a key theme in Hutchins’ work, these half-paintings half-sculptures embodied fragility as they exposed the workings of their own construction.
In addition several large hand-moulded ceramic vessels mimicked 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.
Alongside the work in the gallery spaces, Hutchins also created an outdoor hanging sculpture 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.