Populated with vibrant colour and shifting perspectives, Shara Hughes' invented landscapes, often painted in oil and acrylic, reimagine traditional landscape painting, transporting the viewer to a mystical, dream-like world.Read More
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Hughes received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2004. After two artist residencies in Denmark through Mikael Anderson Gallery in 2008 and 2009, Hughes went on to attend the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Today, Hughes lives and works in Brooklyn, New York with her boyfriend, artist Austin Eddy.
In her early career, Hughes predominately painted interior scenes with narratives sourced from her personal life, producing works such as Sailing (2006), Home Theater (2007), and Three's a Crowd (2008). On this early subject, she explained, '[interiors] always felt like the best resolution to everything for me. Within an interior, you can make a landscape through a window or you can make another person's painting within the painting, or you can paint figures or not.'
Moving to New York in 2014, Hughes began painting landscapes of undulating hills, serpentine rivers, ominous trees, and magical shorelines. Characterised by a bold colour palette, Hughes' fairy-tale narratives employ spontaneous mark-making and playful textures and perspectives, recalling the fantastical landscapes and pictorial innovations of David Hockney and Edvard Munch.
Self-reflection is paramount in the construction of Hughes' otherworldly landscapes. Speaking with Ocula Advisory on Soft and Strong (2021), a new work included in her 2021 solo exhibition at Garden Museum, London, Hughes explained, 'all of the paintings I make are self-portraits in one way or another, whether it's very specific of very abstract... [Soft and Strong] feels like a self-portrait. While making it, I was going through something hard and I felt very delicate, yet at the same time, forcing myself through an issue made me feel strong.'
A range of materials and techniques such as oil, fabric dye, brushes, and trowels manifest into the tactile and seductive scenes of Hard Hats (2021), Centering and Strengthening (2021), and Sigh (2021).
As a young female painter, Hughes' distinctive visual practice and history of widely-acclaimed exhibitions has placed her at the forefront of the international contemporary art scene, with her works continuously outperforming at auction. High Waters (2016), a large-scale oil and acrylic painting on canvas, far exceeded its highest estimate of $154,000 USD at the 2020 Christie's 20th Century Sale in Hong Kong. The painting sold for just over $500,000 USD, marking a new record for the artist.
Hughes' works has been collected by prominent museums and public institutions worldwide, including Dallas Museum of Art; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; M Woods Museum, Beijing; Whitney Museum of Art, New York; and Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, among others.
Solo exhibitions include On Edge (2021) at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. Hughes will also hold solo exhibitions at Yuz Museum, Shanghai in November 2021 and Kunstmuseum Luzern, Switzerland in 2022.
Shara Hughes' solo exhibitions include Pivot, Le Consortium, Dijon (2021); Return of Light, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich (2021); Unmanageable, Pilar Corrias, London (2020); In Lieu of Flowers, Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York (2019); Don't Hold Your Breath, Galerie Eva Presenbuber, Zurich (2018); Shara Hughes: Big Intimates, Ornis A. Gallery, Amsterdam (2016); Trips I've Never Been On, Marlborough Gallery, New York (2016); and Midnight Snacks, Institute 193, Lexington (2014).
Shara Hughes' recent group exhibitions include Lois Dodd and Shara Hughes, Parts & Labour Beacon, New York (2020); She is Here, Atlanta Contemporary (2020); America Will Be! Surveying the Contemporary Landscape, Dallas (2019); SEED, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York (2018); Cliché, Almine Rech Gallery, New York (2018); [If Only Bella Abzurg Were Here], Marc Straus Gallery, New York (2016); Sprawl, High Museum of Art, Atlanta (2015); and Bathers, Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York (2013).
Hughes' work has also been featured in international art fairs, and was included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial.
Annabel Downes | Ocula | 2021
Highlights include pieces by David Hockney, Ed Ruscha, Liu Ye, and Shara Hughes.Read More Ocula News Sotheby’s London Auctions Rake in $297m London, 3 March 2022
Highlights included record prices for Rachel Jones, Shara Hughes, and Flora Yukhnovich, plus Banksy paintings previously owned by pop star Robbie Williams.Read More Ocula News Five Fantastic Booths at Frieze Los Angeles 2022 Los Angeles, 18 February 2022
Blum & Poe, Goodman Gallery, Pilar Corrias, Roberts Projects, and Sean Kelly share highlights of their booths and early impressions of the fair.Read More Ocula News Christie’s Hong Kong Art Sales Rake in a Record $259 Million Hong Kong, 3 December 2021
In a juggernaut art market, individual records were also smashed for Yayoi Kusama, Huang Yuxing, Avery Singer, and others.Read More
Brought to our attention by the gallery at Felix Art Fair in February, Elbert Perez draws upon the complexities of the human psyche.Read More Advisory Perspective Rising Star Chase Hall’s Coffee-Stained Canvases Receive European Debut 10 March 2022
Chase Hall's graceful figurative paintings have quickly amassed a global following.Read More Advisory Pick Rachel Jones Painting Features in Sotheby's Top Lot
Rachel Jones's painting features in Sotheby's top lot, followed by canvases by Jadé Fadojutimi, Shara Hughes, and Flora Yukhnovich.Read More Advisory Perspective Shara Hughes: Painting a World in Flux 19 May 2021
With an abundance of current and upcoming solo exhibitions, Shara Hughes discusses some of the latest directions taken in her work.Read More