Shara Hughes, ‘Two Pricks’, 2015, Phillips

From the Catalogue:
Two Pricks by Shara Hughes showcases the buoyant colours and energetic mark-making characteristic of the artist’s series of abstracted “invented landscape” paintings. Prominently featured in the 2017 Whitney Biennial, Hughes’s vivid, kaleidoscopic paintings of landscapes and seascapes have earned widespread critical recognition, often being described as “portals into unique universes.” (Rachel Uffner, “Shara Hughes: Same Space Different Day”) Two Pricks depicts two large, elongated shapes rendered with tones of green and burnt umber, placed within a desert-like environment denoted by the confetti marks and striations of clear sky blue, peach, pink, ochre and red. The gorgeously animated background juxtaposes against, while also providing compositional foundations for the vertically oriented foreground. The two stretched forms resemble not only desert flora, but they also appear strikingly charismatic, perhaps as though they illustrate abstracted human figures.

Hughes defines her artistic process as organic and slightly surrealistic. She begins with one colour and then “lets the paint and her unconscious take the lead.” (Stephanie Cash, “Shara Hughes,” Art in America, 2014) Though Hughes presents guileless visions of polychrome arcadia, the artist’s contributions to American painting combine contemporary methods with references to historical tradition. Though her works can be seen as painterly iterations of David Hockney’s recent ‘Ipad drawings’, Hughes’s sensitivities to colour and decorative patterning are comparable to Henri Matisse’s Fauvism and Gustav Klimt’s plein air paintings. Her work also points to the seminal paintings of Gregory Amenoff who similarly sought to engage the lyrical and transcendental powers of nature. Playing with the boundaries of the real and imagined to appear at once familiar and otherworldly, Hughes’s paintings describe fantastical spaces that investigate what lies at the heart of the subconscious.
Courtesy of Phillips

Signature: signed, titled and dated '"TWO PRICKS" 2015 SHARA HUGHES' on the reverse

Marlborough Contemporary Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner

About Shara Hughes