The Process of Reinvention: Music, Pattern, and Queering the Landscape with Artist Will Hutnick
The work of Will Hutnick is filled with movement and plays off of the landscape and pattern. As an artist, he draws inspiration for his work through what surrounds him such as objects he collects or the landscape that shifts as he travels between Brooklyn and Wassaic. In this episode, I learned Will has a background in music and plays the cello. Music has historically impacted and inspired artists from Matisse who played the violin daily, to Stuart Davis and Mondrian. As I look at Will’s paintings, I cannot help but think of this background as strong rhythms of pattern and form move me through his work.
These rhythms found throughout his work are created through his application of black paint through various methods to create a ground to react to. He continually re-examines his work and his surroundings to build the pieces. In addition to his work in the studio, Will is also an active curator and is the Director of Artistic Programming at the Wassaic Project.
Will Hutnick is an artist and curator based in Wassaic, NY. He received his M.F.A. from Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, NY) and his B.A. from Providence College (Providence, RI). Recent exhibitions include: Geary (Millerton, NY), Satellite Art Club (Brooklyn), Craven Contemporary (Kent, CT), Collar Works (Troy, NY), Standard Space (Sharon, CT, solo) and One River School (Hartsdale, NY, solo). Hutnick has curated exhibitions at SPRING/BREAK Art Show, Ortega y Gasset Projects, Trestle Projects, Pratt Institute, Wassaic Project and Standard Space. He has been an artist-in-residence at Yaddo, Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences, Elizabeth Murray Artist Residency by Collar Works, DNA Gallery, Wassaic Project, Vermont Studio Center and a curator-in-residence at Benaco Arte and Trestle Projects. From 2015-20, Hutnick was one of the Co-Director of Ortega y Gasset Projects, an artist-run curatorial collective and exhibition space in Brooklyn. He is currently the Director of Artistic Programming at the Wassaic Project, a nonprofit organization that uses art and art education to foster positive social change.
“I create topographical relics that record and reinvent my physical and sensory surroundings. Through idiographic mark making, personal artifacts and architecture become the impetus for pattern and form. I implement various printmaking processes - through the use of paint rollers and black paint on raw canvas - to create marks that resemble fractals, glitches, Xerox prints and stop-motion animation. These marks distort linear and expected notions of time. With a nod to queer ecology, my paintings disrupt the perception of a binary worldview that eschews the inherent interconnection of sexuality, landscape and lived experience.”
Photo Credit: Walker Esner.
TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS EPISODE:
-One day a week all day be in your space with your work
-Eliminate other concerns
-Being a collector of objects and how that impacts his work
-Process of building his paintings
-Unpredictable layers and responding to that in his paintings
-Reacting to the marks that accrue
-The importance in creating space for other artists
-How location impacts work
-Make the space you want
-Who are your people?
Interview: Art Spiel, “Will Hutnick - Artist as Facilitator”, August 24, 2020, by Etty Yaniv
As The World Turns at Geary (Millerton, NY)
Current curatorial project Nickola Pottinger: Fosters Relief at The Wall at Trestle Gallery (Brooklyn, NY)