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First major solo exhibition of Brian McCutcheon's work opens at the Indianapolis Museum of Art
Lounge, 2011. From the series Alien Landscape, cibachrome prints on paper, 40x50 in. each. Commissioned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art; Courtesy of the Artist.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN.- The Indianapolis Museum of Art will presents the first major solo museum exhibition of the work of Brian McCutcheon. Comprised entirely of new works commissioned by the IMA, Brian McCutcheon: Out of this World will be on display in the McCormack Forefront Galleries from September 9, 2011, to March 11, 2012.

An Indianapolis-based conceptual artist, McCutcheon uses video, photography, and sculpture to explore the relationships between play and masculinity. After realizing that his son is currently the same age that he was during the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing, McCutcheon chose to investigate the duality of father and son relationships through imagery and footage related to space exploration.

“I’m pleased to provide our community the opportunity to view the work of accomplished Indianapolis artist Brian McCutcheon. The Contemporary Art department at the IMA is dedicated to presenting the most compelling artwork being created today locally, nationally, and internationally.” said Senior Curator and Chair of the Department of Contemporary Art Lisa Freiman. “McCutcheon’s work is a window into our cultural associations with historical space travel, particularly apt due to the recent shift in space exploration from the public to commercial realm.”

Brian McCutcheon: Out of this World crafts a story that unfolds throughout the entire exhibition. Created to mimic a children’s book narrative, the exhibition explores the Mercury and Apollo space programs in relation to contemporary culture. Visitors will encounter the first work of the exhibition upon entering the IMA’s Pulliam Great Hall, where the base of a currently untitled “flight path” sculpture will be sited. Consisting of a curvilinear metal track, the sculpture traces the imagined trajectory of a toy rocket. With the “launch pad” on the IMA’s second floor, the sculpture will extend three stories before “landing” in the McCormack Forefront Galleries. Within the galleries, Out of this World will continue to evolve as an imaginative narrative, including the launch, space travel, and lunar landing, before arriving at the theme of the splash down—the return to reality at the conclusion of the exhibition.

For McCutcheon, historical space exploration continues to represent an extreme form of human imagination and will—and an extraordinary leap of risk and faith. McCutcheon's whimsical commissions for this exhibition reflect on how the objects that we associate with these events are peculiarly modern yet nostalgic, highly technological yet fantastical.

“My work in Out of This World considers a time when rivalry, determination and optimism pushed our culture to achieve goals that were almost unimaginable. As President Kennedy said of the Apollo Program, ‘We choose to go to the moon, not because it is easy, but because it is hard,’” states McCutcheon of his forthcoming exhibition. “The IMA is currently garnering international respect as a premier risk-taking institution. It is an honor and pleasure to have the opportunity to present my work at the IMA as they optimistically engage challenging ideas about the role of art in culture.”

McCutcheon’s past work has focused on the intersection of masculinity, consumerism and suburban iconography. For example, McCutcheon’s Stud (2001) and Trailer Queen II (2003) are sculptural objects that fuse the customized paint jobs typically adapted for muscle cars and applies them to common objects like Weber grills, creating familiar, but unexpected works that bring together the culture of hot rodding and suburban barbeques. McCutcheon will discuss his past work as well as the exhibition during an artist talk, which will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, September 8, in The Toby.

About Brian McCutcheon
Brian McCutcheon (b. 1965, Traverse City, Michigan) has been the recipient of a number of artist grants, awards, and residencies, most recently a 2010–11 Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant and a summer 2009 residency at Sculpture Space in Utica, NY. McCutcheon taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and currently teaches at the Herron School of Art and Design (Indianapolis). Over the past decade, his work has been featured in a wide range of exhibitions on a national and international scale. McCutcheon is a co-founder and partner of Indianapolis Fabrications (iFab), a custom fabrication studio. He received an MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art after earning a BFA from Colorado State University.

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