press release

Over the past decade Amy Cutler has created a fantasy world that is whimsical and childlike, occasionally ominous, and often perplexing. Inspired by stories and images encountered in current events, art history, folktales, and personal experiences, Amy Cutler creates exquisitely detailed, enigmatic paintings of women, animals, and hybrid-beings engaged in fantastic, dreamlike activities. Her work has drawn associations with fables and fairy tales, dreams and surrealism, and folk art.

The women who inhabit Cutler's narratives have elongated noses, impossibly long pigtails, teapot heads, or broomstick arms. They wear folk costumes, hoop skirts, or dresses that become tents for sleeping and shelter. They engage in mysterious actions--resnouting pigs or attaching chairs and silverware to their head, for instance. Lisa Freiman, IMA curator of contemporary art, remarks on these strange occurrences. "Cutler's delightful world of ambiguity is tied to our everyday lives and fantasies. She revels in leaving the responsibility of interpretation with the viewer."

The exhibition explores Cutler's work through recurring themes, such as transformation and evolution. Cutler's works are carefully detailed, and her attention to patterning, especially in fabrics, intrigues and delights viewers.

Having rapidly gained an international audience, Cutler's work has been included in major exhibitions of contemporary art, including The Whitney Biennial in 2004 and Greater New York at PSI/MOMA in 2005. She has had solo exhibitions at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. Her paintings, drawings, and prints are including in the collections of the Hammer Museum at UCLA; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, and New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City; the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; the Indianapolis Museum of Art and numerous private collections.

Cutler was born in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1974. She studied at the Staatliche Hochschule fur Bildende Kunste, Stadelschule, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, from 1994-1995; received her BFA from The Cooper Union School of Art, New York, in 1997; and continued her studies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1999. Cutler is represented by Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, NY.

Organized by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Amy Cutler is the first traveling museum exhibition of the artist's work. Amy Cutler: Paintings and Drawings, a 112-page catalogue was published in conjunction with the exhibition. It is available from the publishers—the Indianapolis Museum of Art and Hatje Cantz—and from the David Winton Bell Gallery.

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Amy Cutler