The Perceptual Paradoxes of Patrick Hughes
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A.P. 4/7, artist's proof outside the edition of 35. Signed lower right: Patrick Hughes. 30 x 64 x 19. In plexiglass frame.
Image rights: Courtesy Koller Auktionen.
Catalogue raisonné: www.patrickhughes.co.uk.
Patrick Hughes’s paintings and wall reliefs wittily address art history and the nature of perception and perspective. He invented an optical illusion called “reverspective,” a neologism for reverse perspective. Hughes begins by constructing pyramid- or wedge-shaped blocks out of wood, which he combines into ridged panoramas. He then paints scenes into the blocks, depicting interior spaces—including museum galleries hung with iconic artworks—as well as landscapes and city views. The protruding parts of the works appear to recede, and the receding parts appear to protrude. As viewers walk by the pieces, the compositions seem to move. Hughes once remarked: “In my reverspective, you have a contradictory and paradoxical experience. I wouldn’t think they’re beautiful. I think . . . they can be awe-inspiring.”
British, b. 1939, Birmingham, United Kingdom