Confessions: a pictorial reader by Jessica Jackson Hutchins

Confessions: a pictorial reader by Jessica Jackson Hutchins

Courtesy lumber room and Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College.
December 18, 2015

Confessions: a pictorial reader by Jessica Jackson Hutchins

lumber room
419 NW 9th Ave.
Portland, OR 97209

Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College
3203 SE Woodstock Blvd.
Portland, OR 97202

info [​at​]
cooley [​at​]

The lumber room and the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, are proud to announce the publication of Confessions, internationally recognized artist Jessica Jackson Hutchins’ pictorial reader. 

Designed by Gary Robbins in close collaboration with Hutchins and book designer Heather Watkins, Confessions is a visual and material digestion of the artist’s interests, artistic methodologies, and studio environment. The book’s images and texts developed slowly as the team investigated the many layers of ephemera, objects, and artworks in Hutchins’ studio, photographing the process along the way. Confessions was printed one sheet at a time, allowing Hutchins to bring each folio back to her studio to rework and interpolate up to the final printing and assembly deadline. This experimental process allowed Hutchins to create a pictorial reader that is as layered and improvisational as her celebrated sculptures and collages. 

The title references Huchins’ deep investment in her work’s ability to form a relationship with the viewer while embodying the self. In the artist’s words: “The confession… is a specific kind of performance, whose sincerity is often questioned and judged, but which presents itself as an effort to clean house… The confession is a performance that your life depends on. It is a grappling with self and other, an always-imperfect but desperate search for truth and belonging through articulation. And amidst all this seriousness, in the struggle and all the nitty-gritty, there also exists the promise of some comic relief.”

The book is an extension of the exhibition Confessions, a collaboration between the artist and two distinctive visual arts spaces: the lumber room, an exhibition and artist residency space founded by collector Sarah Miller Meigs, and the Cooley Gallery, Reed’s intimate academic museum, curated by Stephanie Snyder. Together, the lumber room and the Cooley presented interrelated aspects of Hutchins’ work in response to each venue’s ethos and architecture. Together, Hutchins, Meigs and Snyder sought to offer visitors a rich experiential engagement with Hutchins’ work amidst their shared personal and professional concerns around autonomy, motherhood, experimentation, and community. 

Confessions was commissioned by the lumber room and the Cooley Gallery, and printed and bound at Portland-based arts press Container Corps by Gary Robbins. The book was designed by Robbins in close collaboration with Hutchins and Portland artist and book designer Heather Watkins. Confessions is 216 pages, printed offset in full color with spot colors throughout, smyth-sewn and soft-bound in book cloth in an edition of 450. The cost is 45 USD.

Jessica Jackson Hutchins was born in Chicago in 1971. She received her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1999. Since her first exhibition in New York in 2004, Hutchins has exhibited throughout the US and abroad, at institutions such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2010); Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston (2011); the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, East Lansing, MI (2013); the Hepworth Wakefield Museum, UK (2013); and The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT (2014). In 2013, a monograph of the artist, Jessica Jackson Hutchins: Everything Erblaut, was published on the occasion of her exhibition at the Hepworth Wakefield Museum, UK. The artist lives and works in Portland, Oregon.

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December 18, 2015

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