Trips I've Never Been On
Feb 11 — Mar 12
Made up of roughly a dozen new works, the show represents both a fearless expansion and considered refinement of Hughes’ formal and conceptual modes. The paintings can loosely be described as psychological landscapes that are conjured in real-time—the journeys not physically taken but rather invented from accumulated, automatic marks. For a viewer they unfold this way as well, and reward our careful attention as we detangle their component gestures, provocative color-combinations and formal logic.
For Hughes, this exhibition represents a breakthrough in her simultaneous employment of a broad diversity of painting materials and strategies. Rough and ready airbrush plays off dignified oil paint and smeared caulk grounds and oil stick. A peculiar attention to the periphery of the canvases adds an arresting framing device that forces a viewer to move between seductive illusionary space and the hard fact of the picture plane.
In this sense Hughes shows an affinity with the chewy pastorals of the early American Modernists, but slipperier, counter-intuitive influences, such as Elizabeth Murray and Gustav Klimt, infiltrate these canvases as well, producing an accumulated set of conditions that are all her own.