Critics’ Picks

Linder, Penetrating the Interior, 2013, collage, 10 7/8 x 8 1/8".

Wakefield

Alice Channer, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Linder

The Hepworth Wakefield
Gallery Walk
February 16 - May 12

Made in response to the work of a woman and curated by women, this trio of subtly interconnected yet discrete exhibitions by three female artists (Alice Channer, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, and Linder) at different stages in their careers is spread across five communicating rooms at the Hepworth Wakefield. The influence of Barbara Hepworth, the presiding deity of the place—whose love of gardens, fashion, birds, music, opera, and dance are variously invoked, perhaps more by Linder, as she seeks to engage with Hepworth’s legacy, than the two younger artists—may be partly responsible for the unabashedly feminine feel of the works on view. (It would have been interesting to see how a male artist responded to the same brief.)

The brightly colored cropped images of shells, birds, animals, and plants that edge their way into the faded 1950s ballet photographs in Linder’s light boxes have their counterpart in Alice Channer’s sinuous metallic and resin-cast forms inspired by marine life, collectively titled Invertebrates (all works cited, 2013) after two of the pieces on display. The light boxes themselves—widely used in department stores and the cosmetics industry—evoke Hepworth’s monolithic cast sculptures in their sheer scale and sculptural presence. In this respect, they are not unlike Jessica Jackson Hutchins’s three ladder works, draped over with painted canvases that have been collaged in places and weighed down with glazed ceramic objects, including a form resembling a dog’s head.

The works by all three artists appeal to the inner sense of touch. Linder’s thirteen cut-paper collages with fanciful titles like Hundred Meetings and Palace of Hearing, fusing photographs of female models culled from fashion and lifestyle magazines with images of furniture and household appliances, are in fact named after different acupuncture points. Everyday domestic objects also dominate Jackson Hutchins’s works, from the armchairs with watercolor, gouache, and collaged prints on their surfaces to the hand-molded ceramic vessels resting on them. Cast in bronze and painted with nail polish, severed fingers pressed into the sharp stainless steel rim in Channer’s Invertebrates express the artist’s but also the viewers’ irresistible, if frustrated, desire to touch and move beyond the surface of these seductive works.