Peter Hutchinson: Landscapes of My Life

Peter Hutchinson, Shoal Beach Project, 1996, Collection of the Artist. Photograp
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On View Oct 12, 2019 - Mar 29, 2020
Exhibition Location: Foster Galleries

Foster Galleries

Since the late 1960s, Peter Hutchinson has explored the construction of nature and language through his photographs, collages, and films. He focuses on ecological systems of growth and decay, continuities between microscopic and macro scales, and the reciprocal relationships of text and image. This exhibition, the first museum survey of Hutchinson’s work in the United States in decades, traces his photographic practice across fifty years, beginning  with documentation of seminal land art installations staged in diverse locations, from the rim of a Mexican volcano to the waters of Cape Cod. The show introduces Hutchinson’s original approach to photo-conceptualism called Narrative Art, revealing his understated, playful wit and prioritization of subjective experience. Recent works on view underscore his poetic appreciation of nature through photo-collages of fantastical landscapes that combine images from his extensive world travels and beloved garden in Provincetown, MA.

Organized by Sarah Montross, Senior Curator, with Elizabeth Upenieks, Curatorial Assistant.

Photosynthesis at deCordova

Photography has long benefitted from assumptions that it faithfully documents our world. The medium’s supposed neutrality is particularly unquestioned when used for scientific study or journalistic purposes. Upending these assumptions, Photosynthesis encompasses a suite of exhibitions at deCordova spanning diverse topics from botanical design to land art, news reportage to photo-conceptualism—fields that have relied on photography’s ability to zoom, crop, and manipulate objects of study to provide detailed visual evidence. The three exhibitions that form Photosynthesis look back to photography’s origins and foundational artists and photojournalists to contextualize contemporary notions of nature, photography, and truth. (See also: All the Marvelous Surfaces: Photography Since Karl Blossfeldt and Truthiness and the News)

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Born in England in 1930, Peter Hutchinson has lived in the United States since the 1960s and has been based in Provincetown since the 1980s. A vital yet largely under-acknowledged figure in the Land Art movement, Hutchinson exhibited in major exhibitions of conceptualism, Land Art and photography including Information (Museum of Modern Art, New York) and Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974 (Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, MOCA, 2012).

Art and the Environment: A Local History
Thursday, November 21, 6:30–8 pm

How have artists responded to New England's diverse coastal and river ecosystems, as well as the region's layered indigenous, colonial, and industrial histories? Art historian Kirsten Swenson connects past and present environmental art and landscape design, from Frederick Law Olmsted to Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Mags Harries, and Lajos Héder. REGISTER

Make Your Own Land Art
Saturday, February 22, 10:30am - 12Noon

Join artist Max Razdow for a Land Art workshop, inspired by Peter Hutchinson: Landscapes of My Life. The program will begin in the galleries, then move into the Sculpture Park and studios to create art out of nature. Participants will have a chance to creatively document their projects and bring home a record of their intervention. REGISTER

Tearing it Up: A Curator-Led Gallery Talk on Collage
Thursday, March 12, 6:30 - 7:30pm

Equal parts destructive and constructive, collages place images in new contexts and relations, often disrupting their assumed meanings. Join Koch Curatorial Fellow Sam Adams and Curatorial Assistant Elizabeth Upenieks for an in-depth tour of some of the most elaborate and dense collages on view in deCordova's three concurent photography exhibitions. REGISTER