Richard Hutter

Richard Hutter

An ongoing exploration of floral still life, my artwork often uses found-paper elements collaged into the work. On the surface, my artwork is about flowering and fruiting plants. On a deeper level my work is about the balance and tension between organic and synthetic realms. My output ranges from paintings on found wood, canvas and panel to mixed media collages, prints and other works on paper.

Floral still life has been the primary theme in my work since 1993. Instead of a representational approach, however, I prefer an abstracted, "architectonic" view of my subject. I create imagery by drawing with architects' tools (such as a French curve) and by collaging found elements from early 20th Century technical, mechanical, and engineering books. Formal concerns predominate over symbolic or emotional ones, informed by Minimalism and Pop, with a nod to Dada. Tactility and an obsession with surface are evident in all my work: encaustic-like, waxy acrylic paint on found-wood constructions, sticky and mottled passages on lithographic monotypes, and matte, porous-looking surfaces on found-paper collages.

Developments in my work over the years have included: a 4-lobed flower shape inspired by Japanese Pop culture and employed by repetition, enlargement, fragmentation and perspective distortion; flowered wallpaper as a paper collage element to jump-start the dialog between grids and flowers on blank canvas; and a comma-shaped form derived from the paisley. Most recently I have taken compositional and pictorial cues from 18th and 19th Century botanical illustration to inform my mixed-media paintings of invented and real flowers, fruit, leaves and vines.

For over two decades my work has been exhibited nationally in solo and group exhibitions, both juried and invitational. Some highlights of my professional career to date include attending Louise Bourgeois' Sunday salon in her NYC home in 2002; my artwork gracing the cover of Artweek Magazine in 2004; acquisition of my artwork by the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene, Oregon for its permanent collection in 2007; and living and working for three weeks in Morris Graves' Northern California art studio as recipient of the Morris Graves Foundation Residency in 2009.

A few notable influences on my work are my training as a printmaker, my love of architecture and the built environment (which began during my boyhood in Chicago) and my appreciation of ephemera or anything old and printed. Artists whose work I respond most strongly to include Agnes Martin, David Hockney, Donald Sultan and Andy Warhol.