Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Third Eye, 2015. Mixed media: collage, acrylic paint, fabric, ceramic, folding chair. 56 x 47.5 in. Photo by Evan LaLonde.

Jessica Jackson Hutchins: Confessions

Image Gallery Exhibition File

September 2 - November 8, 2015

The lumber room and the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, are proud to present Confessions— internationally recognized artist Jessica Jackson Hutchins’ first comprehensive West Coast exhibition. 

On view: Wednesday, September 2—Sunday, November 8, 2015. One exhibition, two spaces: the lumber room, and the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College.

Public reception: Sunday, September 27, 1:00—4:00 pm, lumber room.

Artist Talk: Tuesday, September 29, 6:30 pm, Reed College Chapel. Followed by a reception at the Cooley Gallery.

Artist book publication party: Sunday, November 15:  3:00–5:00 pm, at Container Corps.

Hutchins’ raw, enigmatic sculptures are constructed from household furniture, textiles, and an assortment of everyday materials and objects. Often growing into monolithic expanses heaped with plaster, clay, and paint, the sculptures become embedded with familiar articles such as clothing, newspaper clippings, paper cups, and utensils. The works are alternately domestic and massive, refined and ecstatic, and their vigorous eclecticism speaks to Hutchins’ investment in subjects as diverse as: Chinese landscape painting, poetry, sports figures, and punk. 

In her most recent paintings, Hutchins stretches semi-transparent and printed fabrics over large, gridded stretcher bars, often reversing the works and using the backs of the grids to frame accumulations of paint and plaster, or arrangements of pillows, dishware, and other commonplace goods. At times Hutchins prints the surfaces of her paintings with the very chairs, tables, and musical instruments that populate her sculptures; here, objects become images, transferring their deconstructed likenesses across various substrates. Hutchins also stitches and weaves the paintings with letterforms and ambiguous shapes made from paper and clay. All of the works possess multiple literary and spatial perspectives. 

Confessions is a collaboration between the artist and two distinctive visual arts spaces: the lumber room, an exhibition and artist residency space founded by collector Sarah Miller Meigs, and the Cooley Gallery, Reed’s intimate academic museum, curated by Stephanie Snyder. Together, the lumber room and the Cooley present interrelated aspects of Hutchins’ work in response to each venue’s ethos and architecture. The lumber room iteration is comprised of work solely from Sarah Miller Meigs’ collection of Hutchins’ drawings, paintings, sculptures, and videos, from 1999 to the present, including a new commissioned sculpture. The Cooley Gallery features recent large-scale paintings and furniture-based sculptures, some fresh from Hutchins’ studio, as well as a group of related collages. 

Inspired by Hutchins and her work, the exhibition’s collaborative ethic is rooted in a desire for transparency: around collecting, curating, and making, and the care, circulation, and elucidation of artworks. Together, Meigs and Snyder seek to o er visitors a rich experiential engagement with Hutchins’ work amidst their shared personal and professional concerns around autonomy, motherhood, experimentation, and community. 

In conjunction with the exhibition, the lumber room and the Cooley Gallery are publishing an experimental book by the artist. The book is designed by Gary Robbins and printed at Container Corps, Portland, with project participation from Heather Watkins. 

Jessica Jackson Hutchins was born in Chicago in 1971. She received her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1999. Since her first exhibition in New York in 2004, Hutchins has exhibited throughout the US and abroad, at institutions such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2010); Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston (2011); the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, East Lansing, MI (2013); the Hepworth Wakefield Museum, UK (2013); and The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT (2014). In 2013, a monograph of the artist, Jessica Jackson Hutchins: Everything Erblaut, was published on the occasion of her exhibition at the Hepworth Wakefield Museum, UK. The artist lives and works in Portland, Oregon.