Visual Arts Pick

Richard Hutter

In "10 Years of Paper," Richard Hutter presents a handsome array of prints, collages, and paintings featuring precise cut-outs and a fine restraint in palette; floating through his pictures are his signature floral motif and large commas (or single quotation marks). His work ranges from more graphic art photo collages to fluid floral abstractions in which ink seeps into the handmade paper, creating Rorschach backgrounds under color-infused circles, as demonstrated in the pretty "Bangalore Road" series of multipaneled block prints. In "Above and Below," a striking 20-panel work in acrylic, watercolor, and ink wash, Hutter achieves an organic tapestry evoking reflections in water and a modern take on Monet's water lilies. He works with found objects and paper, sometimes to slightly irreverent effect: In various paintings, he takes an X-Acto knife to an outdated drafting textbook to cut out windows and forms, ironically applying the skills and precision of drafting to dissect the otherwise dull book and make it into something imprecise and ornamental. In his collage for "Four Nudes," Hutter includes a deconstructed hymnal. There is a handsome elegance to Hutter's work, and it's hard to pin down its era. A trained printmaker, the Seattle-based artist also cites Minimalist and Pop influences. He has an obvious appreciation for printmaking tradition, but an interest in making it contemporary, and he also likes to juxtapose artificial with natural forms. These pairings of sensibilities come together well in his current work. "Mechana/Flora," for example, presents on one side a cluster of his recurring flower motifs, and on the other an industrial cog, demonstrating how the man-made utilitarian item mimics the natural shape of a flower. A simple observation, but it works.

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