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Jessica Jackson Hutchins
Derek Eller Gallery
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by Ben Davis

The Whitney Biennial has produced at least one new star -- Jessica Jackson Hutchins (b. 1971), an artist based in Portland, Ore. Whether they loved it or hated it, Hutchins’ Couch for a Long Time -- a couch, papered with newspaper clippings about Barack Obama, with two rather pathetic ceramic vessels standing in for human figures atop it -- was the one work that all the critics mentioned in their reviews of that exhibition. Perhaps this is because Couch for a Long Time nailed together the two strands that run throughout the 2010 Biennial: a sort of distracted leftish sentiment, on the one hand, and an inward-looking formalism, on the other. Hutchins’ couch is also, in my opinion, a pleasantly weird work to look at.