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    Jessica Jackson Hutchins

    Presented by at Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

    October 28, 2011 - March 4, 2012


    Jessica Jackson Hutchins

    Organized by Senior Curator Jenelle Porter

    Jessica Jackson Hutchins (b. 1971, Chicago) transforms life into art, creating sculptures and collages from everyday objects. With the addition of ceramic and papier-mâché, her family’s kitchen table and living room furniture, along with her favorite pieces of clothing and books, become works of art. A couch is no longer a couch, but a pedestal for sculpture. The rituals of quotidian use linger and infuse Hutchins’s work with charged sentiment. The tension between art and the stuff of life prompts us to think about her formal choices as well as her subject matter. Hutchins has said, “Transformation, evidence of work, accidents, the time contained in the humanity of the objects—all that stuff is crucial to get at what I’m trying to get at, which is ways of connecting to the world, ways of knowing ourselves through the things we encounter.”

    This exhibition, Hutchins’s first solo presentation in a museum, showcases Symposion, a large sculpture whose title is the classical Greek word for “drinking party.” The attendees of a symposion shared not only wine, but food, sex, and, most importantly, speeches. Symposion marries exuberant abstract form with a shabby sofa. Hand-built ceramic pots nestle among the crevices of a gargantuan black papier-mâché form that haloes the peacock-blue couch. The bulbous form—both monstrous and sublime—recalls imagery as varied as the massive reclining nudes of English sculptor Henry Moore and ancient Greek pots decorated with drawings of revelers lounging drunkenly on chaises. This exhibition also includes several drawings of punctuation—commas, exclamation points, and question marks—created from lumpy paper pulp, paper coffee cups, and spray paint and watercolor. If the symposion was a place to deliver speeches, then the drawings offer another kind of arena. The fields of punctuation marks suggest a narrative, but one without discernible plot.

    Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

    100 Northern Avenue
    Boston, MA 02210

    Full map and directions

    Admission Info:

    $15 general admission
    $13 seniors
    $10 students
    FREE members and youth 17 and under
    FREE for all from 5 to 9 pm every Thursday for ICA Free Thursday Nights
    FREE for families (up to 2 adults accompanied by children 12 and under) on the last Saturday of each month with the exception of December.

    General Day and Time Info:

    Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 am–5 pm
    Thursday and Friday, 10 am–9 pm
    Saturday and Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    Phone: 617-478-3100


    The ICA does not have a parking garage, however there is affordable paid parking available in lots near the ICA.

    Accessibility Information: Currently, no accessibility information is available for this event.

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