Independent Art Fair
May 5–8, 2022
New York, NY
For Independent New York 2022, Adams and Ollman is pleased to present new works by painter Joan Nelson and multimedia artist Jessica Jackson Hutchins. United by an ecstatic use of gesture and color, as well as an often subversive use of genre, both artists explore questions of human agency, boundaries between the natural and the human-made, and the force and effect of imagination on material reality.
For nearly four decades, Joan Nelson has been reverently and subversively painting the landscape. Since the start of her career in New York in the 1980s, Nelson’s singular subject has been the awe and the artifice of the tradition within which she is working. Known for her paintings that incorporate multiple pictorial traditions, Nelson creates hybrid landscapes of places both real and imagined. Using fragmentary details borrowed from iconic depictions of the landscape, Nelson creates her own vantage point by mixing these elements with personal references—photos, travel books, old postcards, imagination, memory—calling into question the genre’s presumed authority as she paints and repaints it as fiction. Nelson’s invented images push back against a male-dominated tradition of landscape painting and question deeply-rooted narratives of expansion, conquest and extraction.
Nelson’s new works continue to explore the land as a generative force filled with wondrous and often terrifying phenomena, continuously creating and dismantling itself not for our pleasure, but in pursuit of its own realization. Peaked hoodoos jut into enormous, unfolding clouds set against long ridgelines, reluctantly but gracefully fading into the horizon in turns; dazzling skies flocked with glitter and dense with ecstatic energy are set against ancient, eroded rocks, calling to mind the inverse forces of creation and destruction; an expansive and lush environment of rocks and caves carved out by glowing waterfalls and deep pools and bathed in streams of sunlight seems to pulse and radiate. Indeed there is an almost antagonistic aspect to some of the landscapes that, while overflowing with abundance and lifeforce, frames the viewer as distinctly outsider.
“Nelson’s landscapes...speak of yearning for and alienation from the natural world, an unbridgeable distance recorded in a postindustrial world.” – Christopher Knight, LA Times, 2011
Joan Nelson (b. 1958, California; lives and works in Stamford, New York) has exhibited her work at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA ; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX; Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA; among many others. Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Whitney Museum of American Art, all New York, NY; Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; Minneapolis Museum of Art, MN; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C.; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH; and Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery, University of Texas at Austin. Nelson received her BFA from Washington University, St. Louis, MO.
Well-known for her sculptures that often situate ceramic forms and vessels on found and dissected domestic objects such as a table, piano, sofa, or cushion, Jessica Jackson Hutchins continues to explore and push materials, media, and meaning. New work for the Independent takes as its inspiration the form and tradition of Chinese scholar stones used for personal contemplation and artistic inspiration. These small-scale, intimate forms integrate identifiable natural features and textures that reference familiar objects associated with quotidian life and mundane ritual—vessels, tools, body parts—resulting in morphic, intuitive objects that blur the lines between object and action, natural and human-made. Like Nelson’s landscapes, they seem to exist of their own accord. Their uncanny forms are tempered by the reassurance of human touch—finger-shaped surface indentations, strokes of brushed-on colored glaze—creating an alternating sense of welcome and alienation.
Kelly Reichardt: I think if I saw a Jessica piece anywhere, I would know—it's so distinctive. You obviously have your own particular language, but there must have been a period of time growing into that, where you at some point trusted your own voice enough.
Jessica Jackson Hutchins: You know, I wasn't classically trained. So I think, lining up my formal gestures with my values and intention of what I wanted them to be, was all I ever worked on. So that was the only thing I ever did...I've only ever thought that using the right hand gesture, the right color, the right anything was the same as using the right word in a sentence.
Jessica Jackson Hutchins (b. 1971 in Chicago, Illinois; lives and works in Portland, Oregon) has recently had solo exhibitions at Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH (2016); the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT (2014); the Hepworth Wakefield Museum, West Yorkshire, UK (2013); the Broad Art Museum, East Lansing, MI (2013); and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA (2011). Significant group exhibitions include Makeshift at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI (2018), where Hutchins first premiered her performance work; The Encyclopedic Palace, 55th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2013); and The Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2010). Her work is currently on view in Ceramics in the Expanded Field at MASS MOCA, North Adams, MA, and Working Thought at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA, which includes a major new site specific glass installation. Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Margulies Collection, Miami, FL; and the Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR. In 2022, Hutchins was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and in 2020, received the Merit Medal for Sculpture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She holds a BA in Art History from Oberlin College, OH, and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL.