Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Strange and Wonderful Brew

Color, as ingredients go, is to art what salt is to cooking. In other words, it’s hard to do without it, but a little goes a long way, and a reckless use of it can easily lead to disaster. Thank heaven, then, that when it comes to her brushes, chromatic wonder-girl Hadley Hutton knows exactly when to hold ‘em, and exactly when to fold ‘em (not a perfect use of cultural reference, but we all get the point). Certainly, there are moments, as in Summer Swallow, when the muted tones against which the subjects are displayed only serve to heighten the potency of the fleshy reds and soft blues utilized. In other pieces such as In the Tree and April, however, the wall-to-wall simmering stock of intermingling shades and tones is exactly what the art lover ordered, particularly if said art lover shares Hutton’s lifelong passion for color.

It isn’t only birds on branches that light up Hutton’s world, of course. There’s even a little winter magic afoot in pieces like Sweet Dreams, in which a pixie-like girl accepts the noble transport of a splendid bird in a vaguely pink-lavender setting, and an enigmatic message in the lower-body framing of Shipwrecked, among other cryptically composed pieces. Whatever the themes may be—love, loss, or the priceless and often-overlooked majesty of the hidden corners of nature—Hadley Hutton makes it work by reminding us again that the world around us is full of color for the simple reason that our eyes prefer to see it that way. Like all gifted artists, she translates the images we know into what we can imagine them to be. And in so doing, she helps us appreciate the world in a way we might never have otherwise been able to conceive of doing.

To view the entire Hadley Hutton collection, click here.

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