Alice Hutchins, L'ultima cena, 1991, Porcelain plate, magnets, metal balls chain, 3 cm ø 21 cm, Edition of 21
Courtesy of Archivio Conz, Berlin
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  • Porcelain plate, magnets, metal balls chain
  • 3 cm ø 21 cm
    (1 ⅛ inches ø 8 ¼ inches)
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  • Alice Hutchins (1916 Van Nuys, California, USA – 2009 Santa Barbara, California, USA) was an American sculptor whose primary materials were metal and magnets, which she assembled into objects and used in performances. With a fascination for light and movement, it was only in 1967, after visiting a hardware store and being inspired there by small, coated magnets, that her work became sculptural, three-dimensional, and constructive. Magnetic force became an ideal means for Hutchins to create instant assemblages, encouraging viewers to complete her magnetic constructs or “playthings,” stimulating a multisensory tactile approach to her pieces. Through the proximity to Fluxus and the ready-made nature of her magnets, with their ability to suit manifold compositional applications, Hutchins began to work with multiples. George Maciunas supported her on several projects such as the production of Jewelry FluxKit (1969). Editions published later with Francesco Conz, such as L’ultima Cena (1991) and La tour or Five Stories (1992), follow the same logic that references Fluxus-kits, interactive boxes, and games. In 1973, Hutchins took part in the exhibition Fluxshoe: British Tour, and in 1997 in Francesco Conz’s exhibition That Intermedia Avant-Garde at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane (1997). Hutchins’s work can be found in numerous public and private collections worldwide, including the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Berkeley Art Museum, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Tate Modern in London.

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