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Heather Hutchison: Mid Air

Winston Wächter Fine Art, New York is excited to announce Mid Air, an exhibition of new work by Heather Hutchison. These luminous abstract paintings meditate on light, air, and natural phenomena in our changing world and climate.

Hutchison continues to work on reclaimed Plexiglas mounted to birch plywood box frames. In her new series, she moves away from painting with beeswax to explore a more translucent acrylic medium that allows light and color to resonate within the paintings in new and exciting ways. Through succinct bands of horizontal color that slice across the picture plane, Hutchison evokes the shifting hues of the sky. As the light in the room changes or the viewer moves around the pieces, the tones themselves shift. These works embrace the relative nature of color amid subtle changes of light.

This poetic series evokes landscape and horizon lines, as Hutchison draws from her childhood in Arizona and California, where both the desert and the sea offer long stretches of uninterrupted horizon. She recalls the stunning effects of light on polluted skies in the 1960s and 70s. More recently, Hutchison has been studying the low-lying fog in her area and images in the news of skies lit by wildfires. With bands of green, red, and black, Deforestation conjures a forest of trees that is burning and choking the air with smoke. Camp Fire similarly resembles a dazzling atmospheric display of an entire horizon in flames. Others, such as Rising Tide and Stratocumulus are cooler, with bands of blues, grays, and whites in varying opacities. Through her expressive titles, Hutchison’s studies of light and air elicit questions about the climate crisis and the role of human intervention in creating a new, disaster-centric natural world.

The light itself as depicted in these works is beautiful and sublime, but the knowledge of why it exists at all provokes distress and fear for the future. Hutchison allows space for this tension and shows us that both realities are valid. We can admire the mystery and beauty of brilliant light displays in the sky, while at the same time acknowledge our responsibility to the earth and environment.

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