ARTIST:

Jessica Jackson Hutchins

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Jessica Jackson Hutchins
Couch For A Long Time, 2009
Couch, newspaper, ceramic
73.7 x 193 x 90.2 cm

The title of Couch for a Long Time, Jessica Jackson Hutchins’ mixed media sculpture, implies a kind of indolence, a suggestion of idling, and the colour-streaked ceramic pots and sculptures seem to sit on the receiving cushions of their newspaper- clad couch like lazy characters in front of an absent TV. The physicality of the ceramic pieces’ forms – their bone- or flesh-coloured glazed surfaces, their bottom- heavy fatness – invokes the human body; even the couch itself, its cushions bulging like tongues in reaction to its occupants, has a bodily fatness, a subservience to gravity. By contrast, the couch’s surface, covered with newspapers, implies a different temporal idea: the speed of a news story, its sudden irrelevance. That the newspaper clippings repeatedly refer to the then-incumbent President Obama gives these parallel speeds added poignancy. Differing rates of change – the ceramic pieces, protected by a sheen of glaze, will remain intact for as long as they’re carefully held; both the material and the content of the newspapers become dated almost immediately after they’re printed – gives the title additional meaning. Obama became a vessel for certain ideas of optimistic change after the Bush presidency; debatably, those ideas have dated, even lost their lustre. The couch, too, accrues meaning by association: once in Hutchins’ childhood home, its newspaper covering is a kind of protection, as though the room around it were being painted. That, and the preservation implied by the vessels, gives Hutchins’ piece the gravitas of a domestic monument, to be remembered – with a kind of sad hope – for “a long time”.

Jessica Jackson Hutchins
Convivium, 2008
Table, linen, paper maché and ceramic
134 x 144.1 x 136.5 cm

Jessica Jackson Hutchins
Still Life: Chair, Bowl and Vase, 2008
Chair, plaster, collage and salt-fired ceramics
109.2 x 91.4 x 78.7 cm

Jessica Jackson Hutchins
Loveseat and Bowls, 2008
Loveseat, plaster, fabric, and ceramics
156.2 x 105 x 133.4 cm

Jessica Jackson Hutchins
Couple, 2010
Couch, ink, spray paint, charcoal dust, hydrocal, ceramic
124.5 x 178 x 107 cm

Text by Ben Street

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