An ongoing exploration of floral still life, Richard Hutter’s artwork often uses found-paper elements collaged into the work and employs an abstracted “architectonic” style. His output ranges from paintings on found wood, canvas and panel to mixed media collages, prints and other works on paper. On the surface, his artwork is about flowering and fruiting plants. On a deeper level, it is about the balance and tension between organic and synthetic realms.
For his most recent body of work, Hutter took compositional and pictorial cues from 18th and 19th Century botanical illustration to create mixed-media paintings of invented and real flowers, fruit, leaves and vines. This development was inspired in part by many happy hours visiting botanical gardens in Paris, New York, Madrid, Buenos Aires and San Francisco (among other places.)
Hutter elaborates: “In Buenos Aires in November 2012, the city’s flowering trees and shrubs were lush with springtime blossoms (jacaranda, tipuana tipu, ceibo and hibiscus), and the sketches and photos I brought home of these flowers meldedinto a series of composited abstract shapes which I have used in many artworks, including my Orchida Superara series. In Granada, Spain I was introduced to the small egg-shaped fruit called the loquat, and this fruit inspired my Nispero Obscura painting. I also really loved the watermelon still-life paintings I’d seen in Mexico City and other places but decided, for the moment, that melon leaves were more pictorially interesting and the result is my Cucumerario painting.”
Hutter is still drawing on a wealth of early 20th Century mechanical illustration books as found-paper collage material in his work, and lifting strange fruit-like or flower-like mechanical diagrams from them for charcoal tracings in many of his paintings. The recent technical discovery of refillable empty paint makers have allowed him to incorporate line drawings into artwork and still have paint colors that are archival and lightfast. All of the major shapes in his works continue to be created with his large collection of unusual and/or antique architects’ French curves.
He based his studio practice in Seattle, shortly after graduating in 1987 with honors from University of Wisconsin-Stout’s School of Art & Design with a Studio Art BS Art degree with a concentration in printmaking. “James Holmberg + Richard Hutter” is his third exhibition with Circa Gallery; his first was in March 2006 and he exhibited again in February 2011.