new-york

Timothy Hutchings

I-20 Gallery

It’s neither plaudit nor put-down but straightforward observation to say that this exhibition had the ability to leave even the most tolerant visitor with a pounding headache. Timothy Hutchings’s predilection for swirling pattern and distorted sound made “Arm in Arm in Arm in Arm,” his second solo outing here, a lot less amiable than its title might suggest. Just the memory of 4-Way Polka Riot (all works 2003) begins to summon, as Richard E. Grant’s Withnail would have it, a “bastard behind the eyes.”

Hutchings’s assault on the senses began quietly with a suite of diminutive gouaches depicting, in the simplified but careful style of a Tintin cartoon, a flotilla of drifting icebergs. A neat conflation of the eternal sublime with period pop culture, the “After Hergé” series is also a punningly literal assertion of youthful cool. Its allusion to high adventure is appropriate too; the artist

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