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Writer: Brian Shawver
CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
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e-mail: peter-alexander@uiowa.edu

Release: Immediate

Exhibition of works by Alice Hutchins will be shown at UI Museum of Art

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Museum of Art will exhibit the works of contemporary artist Alice Hutchins from March 14 through May 10 in the Focus I Gallery of the museum.

Hutchins will be at the museum to discuss her works and to facilitate a hands-on interaction with her magnetic constructs at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 15 as part of the museum's "Perspectives" series. Both the exhibition and the "Perspectives" program are open to the public free of charge.

Hutchins is best known for her interactive constructions, in which the audience is invited to participate in the art. Throughout her career, Hutchins has used magnets, plastic storage boxes, and other items of "hardware store culture" to create works which can only be completed by a collaboration between the artist and audience.

Originally a painter, Hutchins worked in Paris under the tutelage of the artist Robert Lapoujade. In 1966 Hutchins began experimenting with mass-produced materials from hardware stores in order to bring her art into three-dimensional space. Hutchins invited spectators to finish her "playthings," as she calls them, in order to break down the line of demarcation between art and life.

In 1967 Hutchins became acquainted with members of the New York-based Fluxus collective, which encouraged the eradication of distinctions between artist and audience. By 1968 she had stopped painting entirely, and since that time has dedicated her career to works of interactivity, which have been described as "arenas for happenings."

The current exhibition is composed of a wide variety of Hutchins' constructions, dating from the late 1960s to the present, along with two-dimensional collage works from the mid-1960s. The exhibition is the second of four events designed to introduce the public to the materials in the UI Museum of Art's Alternative Traditions in the Contemporary Arts collection.

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots across from the museum on Riverside Drive, and adjacent to the UI Alumni Center, which is just north of the museum.

3/6/98