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Review: Brian McCutcheon: Out of this World

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While this particular car and highway are not in the IMA, this playful spirit is, in McCutcheon's new IMA show.
  • While this particular car and highway are not in the IMA, this playful spirit is, in McCutcheon's new IMA show.

5 stars

Indianapolis Museum of Art: McCormack Forefront Galleries; through March 4.

Brian McCutcheon's exquisitely designed and fastidiously crafted sculptures, photographs and videos tell a playful yet sometimes fretful story of seeing the world through the fresh eyes of a boy who loves space exploration and play. The "boy" represents McCutcheon and his son, Angus, now eight. Both became interested in outer space at age four, which was in 1969 for Brian, the year Apollo 11 landed on the moon.

Out of this World begins in the Pulliam Great Hall, where "FLIGHT" shows a "launching" of aluminum tubing that spirals into the Forefront Galleries like a carefree line drawing. At the end, a toy rocket with wheels to ride its own imaginary trail backwards or forwards is deployed. On display are McCutcheon's constructed "Space Suits," costumes sized for himself and Angus. The two are outfitted in the suits in humorous "Alien Landscape" photographs such as "Shop," where Angus pretended to fly on a grocery cart pushed by McCutcheon in a Marsh Supermarket parking lot.

Through imagination, McCutcheon succeeds in constructing a type of time capsule to capture fleeting moments and confront his identity roles that include artist, father, teacher, fabricator and hot rod enthusiast. McCutcheon's warped self-portrait headshots with name-calling titles like "Bubblebrain" suggest boyhood transformation. "CAPSULE," a nod to Apollo 11 and racecars, is a ready-to-be-towed spaceship painted automotive red and secured to a trailer affixed with 1959 Cadillac lights. Exhibition as journey confirmed. Take the whole family to support this Indianapolis-based artist with a world-class exhibition.

Check out a video interview with McCutcheon here.

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