See Me Seeing Me
If paintings are windows to the world, then what world are the viewers in and who’s looking at the viewer looking at this window to the world? Shara Hughes 2012
American Contemporary is delighted to present their first solo exhibition by Shara Hughes.
If we really thought about everything that we were seeing when we entered or arrived at a place - like trying on a spring day to close your eyes in some small park jammed between buildings and streets to hear ALL the sounds of the city - it would create a shift in our experience, until we perhaps became overwhelmed.
Hughes embraces in her paintings the attempt, the shift, and any feelings of being overwhelmed. Working towards this visceral chaos, she translates these multifaceted, emotional, and saturated moments from her own perspective. In order to achieve this she has to be able to slip in and out of the roles of painter, viewer, and participant inside the painting. This means Hughes is not limited to a central focus and instead equally embraces the peripheries and a release of logic. Her paintings, emphasized by her use of mixed media and her maximization of technique, are all encompassing; they provide a transcription of experience that combines immediacy, didacticism, abstraction and the boundlessness of individual thought.
Night Lightening illuminates her own experience of walking through a forest at night during a lightening storm. Hughes describes how with each forked flash, she was able to see her surroundings: this would instantly fade, leaving the memory of an image - a complete experience unto itself. By the time the next flash came she would be in another part of the forest, and presented with a new momentary visual of the surrounding flora. Following this sense of faceted and layered occurrence, My House is the One With All The Holes in It, presents a space with multiple cracks and holes as if the home is transparent in places. Each crack looks out onto a different moment, where abstract shapes and line hint to distinct spaces beyond. Hughes has a bizarre innate understanding of the literal. She doesn’t translate what she sees, but instead channels it unfiltered without the restriction of too much reason. Description becomes secondary to experience. Experience of the place, her thoughts and the materials used in the paintings: she is looking at herself looking at this window to the world in which she is already a participant.
Hughes graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2013 she will have two major museum shows. The first will be at Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and will; feature new work began the American Contemporary exhibit. The second will be at MoCA, Georgia: she was announced a winner of their 2012/2013 MoCA GA Working Artist Project. This exhibition will be the climax of MoCA GA's support of the artist's practice for one year. She has also had solo exhibitions at Rivington Arms Gallery, New York, Museum 52 London, Mikael Anderson, Copenhagen and Metroquadro, Turin.