As The World Turns, Will Hutnick, Catherine Mulligan, and Courtney Puckett

April 9 - May 31, 2021

Geary is pleased to present As the World Turns, a group exhibition in Millerton, NY featuring the work of Will Hutnick, Catherine Mulligan, and Courtney Puckett.

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The American soap opera As the World Turns premiered in 1956 and was on air for 54 years, ending in 2010. From the show’s genesis, it was clear that its audience was hooked. Stalkers and fist fights, marriages and murders, illnesses and deaths, infidelities and custody battles are key elements of the melodrama’s plot lines and by 1975, As the World Turns garnered an audience of over ten million viewers daily. Irna Phillips, the soap opera’s creator, said of the show: “As the world turns, we know the bleakness of winter, the promise of spring, the fullness of summer, and the harvest of autumn—the cycle of life is complete.”

The soap opera depicts similar trials we may face in our day-to-day reality, but dressed in hyperbole and glamour. In the pandemic-stricken, political malaise we find ourselves in today, the parallels of As the World Turns and our reality become clear. The world continues, despite the very recent upheaval of what we once considered normalcy. The world continues as we breathe relief for a vaccine. The world continues as the artist enters the studio and reflects on how to depict the world itself.

Courtney Puckett’s work carries an obsessive nature that transforms found objects into fabric-wrapped sculptures. The individual objects Puckett selects become obscured by vibrant textiles and wire, losing its identifiable characteristics. Instead, each item is part of a whole, creating colorful forms bound tightly together by yarn and fabric scraps. The objects are personified and often mimic the human form through scale and shape.

Catherine Mulligan’s work confronts the viewer with the dialectical relationship between delusion and reality, authenticity and distortion. As source material, Mulligan cites observed reality coupled with advertisements and tabloids for her portraits of dilapidated store fronts and (often-times headless) fashion models. Though advertisements and tabloids utilize a different medium than soaps, they convey a similar message–an exaggerated existence of drama and extravagance. Through the inversion of color, Mulligan furthers the separation of reality and the illustrated image. The artists’ storefronts conjure a suburban dystopia, muddied with dismal shades of grey paint that are scraped off, reapplied, and then scraped off once more.

Will Hutnick uses grey as a neutral ground, offering a resting place for the viewer as the eye dances within his dynamic compositions. Graphic prints and lines blur into lines on a television screen, and are softened by hazy gradients and rorschach-esque blotches. Hutnick does not shy from combining mediums; a closer look reveals a surface covered in sand, glass beads, and layers upon layers of paint. The work carries a type of gravity due to the surface and finished edges of the canvas. They do not serve merely as paintings, but also as sculptural objects. The sides of each canvas are intently cared for, resulting in a surprise for the viewer as they move around the work.


Will Hutnick (b. 1985, Manhasset, NY) is an artist based in Sharon, CT. 

He received his M.F.A. from Pratt Institute in 2011 and his B.A. from Providence College in 2007. Hutnick is a 2021 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Painting, as well as a grant recipient from the Berkshire Taconic Foundation in 2023 and 2017, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in 2016. Solo exhibitions include: Pamela Salisbury Gallery (Hudson, NY), Elijah Wheat Showroom (Newburgh, NY), Standard Space (Sharon, CT), Providence College Galleries (Providence, RI), One River School (Hartsdale, NY), The Java Project (Brooklyn, NY), and St. Thomas Aquinas College (Sparkill, NY). Selected group exhibitions include: Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art (New Paltz, NY), Hollis Taggart (Southport, CT), Geary Contemporary (Millerton, NY), 1969 Gallery (New York, NY), Heaven Gallery (Chicago, IL) and Collar Works (Troy, NY). Hutnick has been an artist-in-residence at Yaddo, Elizabeth Murray Artist Residency, Vermont Studio Center, Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences, Soaring Gardens Artists’ Retreat, DNA Artist Residency, Hewnoaks, Stove Works, and the Wassaic Project, as well as a curator-in-residence at Benaco Arte and Trestle Projects. He has curated numerous exhibitions at SPRING/BREAK Art Show, Ortega y Gasset Projects, Trestle Projects, Pratt Institute, Wassaic Project, Troutbeck and Standard Space. His work has been featured in The New York Times, New American Paintings, and Hyperallergic, among others. From 2015-20, Hutnick was one of the Co-Directors of Ortega y Gasset Projects, an artist-run curatorial collective and exhibition space in Brooklyn. He is currently the Director of Artistic Programming at the Wassaic Project in Wassaic, NY, a nonprofit organization that uses art and art education to foster positive social change.