Jessica Jackson Hutchins at the Timothy Taylor Gallery
This show was a disappointment. Hutchins is a phenomenally derivative and tedious artist. Her work is broadly unsuccessful. But she handles fashionable themes, and in what, until very recently, was a very fashionable style.
Her work is included in several major museums. No doubt by the time of her next retrospective, whenever that may be, she will have played catch up to the aesthetic of today. One thinks of so many other names when trying to define Hutchins’ style. Predictably come Oldenberg, Sarah Lucas (as well as Allen Jones), Rauschenberg Cy Twombly (in a sculptural sense), etc. One suspects she is trying to jazz up the language of pop in much the same way that Cecily Jones and Jenny Saville tried to do it for Ab Ex.
Her canvases are particularly bad – they might be taken for the work of an eagar and tasteless A-level student. Her work manages to be crude and sentimental at the same time. Going back to the eager and tasteless A-level student – they seem to have written the press release for the Taylor Gallery. Among other petinent observations, it states: “an arm chair acts as a plinth to an anthropomorphic vessel. The slumping form, part bodily stand in… hunches over the upholstered surface. It adopts a human-like quality.” You don’t say. “Hutchins flirts with what is “allowed”; the boundaries between each discipline bleed into one another… sculptures become plinths, canvases support ceramic vessels.” Julian Schnabel eat your heart out.
Blending disciplines is quite new – for those of you who do not know, it’s a neat trick Hutchins has taken some little known work done before the birth of Christ. Elevating plinth making to a discipline may be the show’s great achievement. “Hutchins is an archaeologist, one who excavates the present.” Bill Woodrow was confronted with the following problem in the late 70s – to excavate one needs to find at least half buried. Woodrow took this to a self-deprecating extreme by submerging telephones in concrete. Hutchins, however, only manages to dwell on her own ponderous presence.
Jessica Jackson Hutchins is at the Timothy Taylor Gallery until 8th March 2014. For further information visit the gallery’s website here.