Freight + Volume is pleased to present Peter Hutchinson, Constructions and Collages. Still active as he approaches 80, Peter Hutchinson figured crucially in the emergence of conceptual art in the late 1960s, led the way to more narrative forms in the 1970s, and from the first has championed an art that examines and sets natural processes in motion – an ecological art that predates the first Earth Day by several years.
Born in England, Hutchinson has lived in the United States for over half a century and has practiced art for nearly as long. Beginning as a geometric painter, his close contact with minimal artists in New York such as Sol LeWitt and Tadaaki Kuwayama exposed him to conceptualist thinking at its inception. But Hutchinson turned away from minimalism and conceptualism’s rhetorical bent, preferring to follow a more overtly poetic and nature-oriented path. In this way, he remained true to his British roots, mirroring and even anticipating the landscape orientation, and physical commitment, of artists like Richard Long and Hamish Fulton, and evincing the heritage of the great poets and painters of the 18th and 19th century, including Constable, Wordsworth, and Blake.
Hutchinson has always been involved in “the land,” but, while often associated with monumental interventionists such as Michael Heizer and Robert Smithson, Hutchinson prefers to realize temporary projects dependent on natural processes of decay and regeneration. He orients himself alternately to the garden, the sea, and the park, investigating the point of contact between nature and humanity. When he takes a “vacation” from nature and its habitually strenuous demands, he delights in language, finding in its infinite play a process of expressive evolution comparable in its complexity to natural processes. Ultimately, he is fascinated by how we understand what we behold, whether it is the world at work or our minds at work.
For his first solo exhibition at Freight + Volume, the artist will present a series of constructions and collages in the form of photo-assemblages with text; small sculpture maquettes of alien landscapes with concrete and glass vials; and box constructions, which juxtapose the raw material of his artistic environment – his garden, memory, experience, botanical and literary knowledge – with a keen sense of text and image as proof of experience and the passage of time. Night Journals, a reproduction of Hutchinson’s sketchbook from the last year will also be available on the occasion of the exhibition. This limited edition publication, with an essay by Peter Frank, will take the reader on a journey around the world and its varied terrain as seen through the artist’s eyes.
Peter Hutchinson has shown domestically and internationally at AEROPLASTICS Contemporary, Brussels, Belgium); DNA Gallery (Provincetown, MA); Galería Helga de Alvear (Madrid, Spain); Blancpain Art Contemporain (Geneva, Switzerland); Galerie Bugdahn und Kaimer (Duesseldorf, Germany); Edition Domberger (Filderstadt, Germany); John Gibson (New York, NY, USA); The Mayor Gallery (London, United Kingdom); Torch Gallery (Amsterdam, Netherlands); Fabian und Claude Walter Galerie (Zurich, Basel, Switzerland) and is included in renowned collections such as the Musée d’Art Moderne/Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, the Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basle, the National Gallery of Art, Washington and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.