Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Confessions. Left: lumber room. Right: Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College.
Jessica Jackson Hutchins
September 2–November 8, 2015
419 NW 9th Ave.
Portland, OR 97209
Hours: Friday–Saturday noon–5pm
Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College
3203 SE Woodstock Blvd.
Portland, OR 97202
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday noon–5pm
T +503 517 7851
Public reception: September 27, 1–4pm, lumber room
Public talk by Jessica Jackson Hutchins: September 29, 6:30pm, Reed College Chapel, Eliot Hall,
followed by a reception at the Cooley Gallery
Artist book publication party: November 7, 4–6pm, Container Corps
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.
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’ passion for subjects as diverse as Chinese landscape painting, poetry, sports figures, and punk.
The title of the exhibition references Huchins’ deep investment in her work’s ability to form a relationship with the viewer while embodying the self. In the artist’s words: “The confession… is a specific kind of performance, whose sincerity is often questioned and judged, but which presents itself as an effort to clean house… The confession is a performance that your life depends on. It is a grappling with self and other, an always-imperfect but desperate search for truth and belonging through articulation. And amidst all this seriousness, in the struggle and all the nitty-gritty, there also exists the promise of some comic relief.”
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 works from the Miller Meigs Collection, bringing Hutchins’ recent work—and a new commissioned sculpture—into contact with over a decade’s worth of her drawing, painting, sculpture, and video. The Cooley Gallery, meanwhile, features recent large-scale paintings and furniture-based sculptures, some fresh from Hutchins’ studio. Together, Hutchins, Meigs and Snyder seek to offer 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 artist book designed by Gary Robbins and printed at Container Corps, Portland, with project participation by 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, U.K (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.