Hug: Recent Work by Patricia Piccinini

September 22, 2007 – January 6, 2008

Fantastic, hyper-realistic sculptures of customized life forms are featured in Hug, the first U.S. survey of work by Australian artist Patricia Piccinini. Informed by recent advances in and complex questions raised by genetic research, Piccinini’s sculptures, photographs, and video installations examine the precarious relationships among animals, nature, science, and technology.

The artist has long focused on the representation of humans and animals, emphasizing the capacity for manipulation and enhancement through biotechnological intervention. Her artwork explores potential, often ambiguous, interactions between humans, animals, and human–animal hybrids. For Piccinini, humanity bears physical and ethical responsibility for experimentation with the natural and the artificial; her artwork challenges us to embrace, for better or worse, the unanticipated consequences of those investigations.

Piccinini represented Australia in the 2003 Venice Biennale and has exhibited internationally. Solo exhibitions include those at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; and City Gallery Wellington, New Zealand.

Hug: Recent Work by Patricia Piccinini is cocurated by Robin Held, Frye chief curator and director of exhibitions and collections, and Patricia Hickson, curator, Des Moines Art Center, Iowa.

Image credits:
Patricia Piccinini. Domain (While the alpha male does maintain a strong hierarchy, juveniles are free to playfully interact.), 2005. C-type photograph. 37 1/2 x 69 1/2 in. ©Patricia Piccinini. Courtesy of the artist and Yvon Lambert New York.
Patricia Piccinini. Bodyguard (for the Golden Helmeted Honeyeater) (detail), 2004. Silicone, fur, acrylic resin, timber, DVD, and monitor. 59 1/2 x 30 x 24 in. ©Patricia Piccinini. Private collection.
Patricia Piccinini, The Embrace (detail), 2005. Silicone, fiberglass, leather, plywood, clothing, and human hair. Dimensions variable. ©Patricia Piccinini. Courtesy of the artist and Yvon Lambert New York.
Patricia Piccinini. Radial, 2005. Fiberglass, automotive paint, and stainless steel. 27 1/2 x 23 5/8 x 8 5/8 in. ©Patricia Piccinini. Courtesy of the artist and Yvon Lambert New York.