BlackRock: In Sequence Art Exhibit

BlackRock Center for the Arts presents a solo exhibit featuring paintings, drawings and animations by Scott Hutchison from now through August 1 at the Terrace Gallery.

The gallery is open Monday–Friday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturday hours are 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

For more information, call 301.528.2260.

photo of artwork by Scott Hutchison,  “Kiss”, graphite on paper, video dimensions variable.

Scott Hutchison, “Kiss”, graphite on paper, video dimensions variable.
Photo | BlackRock

Shifting images of blinking eyes, moving lips and changing expressions flash across video screens as digital animations are displayed alongside sequential oil paintings and graphite drawings depicting the figure in motion. In his solo exhibition in the Terrace Gallery at BlackRock Center for the Arts, Scott Hutchison combines traditional painting and drawing techniques with digital technology to create animated portraits, displayed on small LCD panels, exploring identity and introspection in layered compositions of realistically rendered but separate moments in time.

photo of Scott Hutchison, “Displaced”, graphite on paper.

Scott Hutchison, “Displaced”, graphite on paper.

Hutchison creates dramatic portraits, often using himself as a model. He will display a new series of drawings, including “Displaced,” where isolated motions of the artist’s hands, twisting torso, and movements of his head are layered together in one composition gently drawn in soft graphite. The sensation is similar to viewing a multiple-exposure chronophotographs by Marey, or Duchamp’s “Nude Descending the Staircase,” but the effect in Hutchison’s piece is quite different captured in pencil on paper with such delicate precision. There is no need for digital technology in these works, as we can imagine the motion for each pose and choose to adjust the sequence, pace and rhythm on our own.

In works like “Googlie” and “Kiss” Hutchison concentrates on small parts of his body—eyes, teeth, lips—in extreme close-up. Dozens of individual paintings, or drawings, are made in sequence to capture slight variations in movement. Some works illustrate changing facial expressions, blinking eyes, or the movement of lips uttering a repeated phrase. The artist then photographs each small painting, frame by frame, and then unifies them digitally to create the animations. Viewing the small original works, some only five inches tall, gives the impression of an old-fashioned flip book that has been taken apart and hung sequentially on the wall. The fun begins when you view the animations playing on a small LCD panel and have the unique opportunity to isolate a specific frame and return to slowly view the original still artwork. Hutchison custom builds unique wooden boxes that house the small DVD player components.

Introspection and self-examination come naturally to the figurative artist, but Hutchison also tries to inject humor into his frame-by-frame animated art. “I Don’t Know” is an animated piece which includes sound, where the artist is repeating the phrase while we watch his lips form. Another work includes a recording where the artist is talking to himself and the words are meant to be unintelligible.

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