Yuz Museum presents “Shara Hughes: The Bridge,” the first solo exhibition of the Brooklyn-based artist in Mainland China and a highlight of Art West Bund 2021 FW from November 6th, 2021 to January 9th, 2022 at Yuz Project Space of Art. Hughes’ latest landscape paintings transcend spirituality, which was inspired by physical nature, bridging fantasy and reality. “The Bridge” not only is an epitome of Hughes’ creative breakthrough during the pandemic, but extends to her profound understanding of life and death, man and universe, ephemerality and immortality.
Across Hughes’ oeuvre, the convergence of consciousness and instinct is demonstrated in her visual language that places between representation and abstraction. Informed by a deep knowledge of art history, her works also alludes to styles that mainly stem from “fin de siècle”, which in French describes end of the century. Hughes’ spontaneous approach with expressive brushworks, vibrant colours and infinite spectacle conveys her response to the inner and outer world. These featured works also transcends a pervading and exuberant rhythm, to which Roger Fry once described as “the emotional elements inherent in natural form are adequately discovered.”
This “nature” and “inspiration from within” characteristic is also apparent in the latest works of Shara Hughes. In particular, The Bridge, a twelve-meter commissioned painting inspired by the woods, cliffs and waterfalls alongside the Hudson River Valley in Catstill Mountains. The “first American landscape” nurtured countless American artists, such as Thomas Cole and Frederic Church. Nevertheless, the narrative structure of this panoramic painting, from left to right suggests a visual similiarity in Classical Chinese Shanshui paintings. The decentralized composition of the painting proposes a philosophical perspective on the integral and perpetual link between human and nature, and extends to the circle of life. As for The Moon and The Sun as a duo, the pair shares the same shape and form, which beautifully complements each other, while displaying contrasted meanings, emotions, and a universal and open-ended interpretation for audiences to explore.
Canetti once said, ‘Montaigne the I-sayer. ‘I’ as space, not as position.’ By flowing with the change of the river, the change of the mountain, the change of the daylights, the change of the seasons, and the change of the stars, Shara Hughes constructs the “I” without “a goal in mind besides just staying true to what I know, which is myself”.
About the artist
Shara Hughes (b. 1981, Atlanta, GA) earned a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and later attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, now lives and works in Brooklyn. The artist has exhibited widely in museums and institutions. Her solo exhibitions include: “On Edge”, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, St. Louis, 2021; “Shara Hughes”, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, 2021; “Pivot”, Le Consortium, Dijon, 2021; “Return of Light”, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, 2021; “Unmanageable,” Pilar Corrias, London, 202o; “In Lieu of Flowers, ” Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York, 2019; “Shara Hughes,” The Arts Club, London, 2018; “Sun Salutations,” Newport Art Museum, Newport, 2018 and etc. Group shows include: “America Will Be! Surveying the Contemporary Landscape,” Dallas Art Museum, Dallas, 2019; “Present Tense: Selections from the Lenhardt Collection,” Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, 2018; and “The Lure of the Dark: Contemporary Painters Conjure the Night,” MASS MoCA, North Adams, 2018. Hughes’ work also belongs to many prominent collections, including Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Whitney Museum of Art, Dallas Museum of Art, Denver Museum of Art, High Museum of Art, Jorge M. Perez Collection, Rachofsky Collection, among others.
About the exhibition
Dates: November 6, 2021 – January 9, 2022
Venue: Yuz Museum, West Bund, Shanghai
Courtesy of the artist and Yuz Museum.