Heather Hutchison was born (1964) in Philomath, OR, and was raised a many points between the high desert of Bisbee, AZ and the atmospheric mist of the San Francisco Bay Area. She currently works and resides in upstate New York. Hutchison has been included in numerous museum exhibitions including those at the Brooklyn Museum, Montclair Art Museum, the Smithsonian, the Knoxville Museum of Art as well as being included in the 44th Biennial Exhibition of American Painting at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. She has exhibited in dozens of solo exhibitions and group exhibitions over nearly three decades. Her work is held in several public collections including the Brooklyn Museum, Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Recently, Hutchison has received grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Gottlieb Foundation, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Hutchison’s works have been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Artnews and Art in America, among others.
Heather Hutchison's works are notable for incorporating ambient light as a primary material. Sharing similar concerns with Light and Space artists and having spent decades observing and contemplating nature, Hutchison's works capture the essence of the phenomena of light and how it shifts in natural environments. Although she utilizes diverse media for her bent Plexiglas structures, works on paper, beeswax paintings on Plexiglas, photographs, and video works, each and every piece is a direct inquiry into the perceptual experience of color, light, and shadow particular to a time of day and place. Hutchison emphasizes the horizontal world that surrounds us and finds solace in the ever-present rhythms and syncopations in nature.
Daylight is an integral, animating element in Hutchison’s work. The materials appear at times constructed and solid, transparent and intangible, or actively kinetic depending on the angle of the light, the shadows on and around the work, and the movement or position of the viewer. This intrinsic and constant state of change challenges ideas of objectivity and perception before a work of art.
Self-taught, Hutchison has developed and innovated methods and mediums as well as hand-building and bending Plexiglas forms to facilitate her artistic process. Though seemingly minimalist, the hand of the artist is very much present in these works. This creates a tension between the tactility of material and the pristine quality these paintings have in changing light. The works, both inspired by and activated by light, are focused contemplations of this intangible element, inspiring a renewed awareness of the subtleties of daylight and illumination.