White Columns is pleased to present a display of recent collages in the gallery’s reception area by the Oakland-based artist John Hiltunen. This is Hiltunen’s first exhibition. “Earlier this month ago I was visiting the Bay Area for the opening of ‘Create’, an exhibition that I co-curated with Larry Rinder for the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. ‘Create’ includes works by twenty artists affiliated with three visionary Bay Area organizations that support artists with mental and developmental disabilities: Creative Growth (Oakland), Creativity Explored (San Francisco), and the National Institute of Art and Disabilities (Richmond, CA). During my trip I visited the Creative Growth Art Center – an organization that I have collaborated with on many projects over the past eight years – where I encountered John Hiltunen’s extraordinary collages for the first time. Deceptively straightforward Hiltunen’s collages, which typically collide animal and human subjects, mostly derived from fashion and natural history magazines, invoke a historical lineage that includes Hannah Hoch’s Dada provocations and Linder’s more recent, but equally sardonic juxtapositions. If all collage work invokes a sense of violence – via the physical acts of cutting and dismemberment – Hiltunen tempers this dynamic through his uncanny deployment of humor, creating works that ultimately maintain a tension between their evident likeability and a palpable sense of something being amiss. Seeing the works I felt that it was important for them to be seen be a wider audience, hence their presentation – three weeks later - at White Columns.” – Matthew Higgs, May 2011.
May 26 through July 16, 2011
White Columns 2330 West 13th Street New York NY 10014 www.WhiteColumns.org