Shara Hughes is often referred to as a landscape painter, but from the artist’s point of view, her paintings “are not really about landscapes” at all. Working intuitively, her colourful paintings do not depict places either real or imagined. The artist loosely gives form to floating moons, gnarled trees, and blazing sunlight, bridging the abstract and representational. The paintings make manifest a psychological complexity which, though profoundly personal, are open-ended enough to allow the viewer to project their own memories, bringing to life a world that is at once elegant and chaotic—infused with a vibrant harmony of the organic, the subjective, and the surreal. At human scale—the size of her own “wingspan”—many of the works are immersive, inviting and alarming, beautiful and scary.
Shara Hughes (b. 1981, Atlanta, GA) earned a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and later attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Recent and current solo exhibitions include On Edge, CAM St Louis, US (2021); The Bridge, Yuz Museum, Shanghai (2021); Shara Hughes, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen (2021); Shara Hughes, Garden Museum, London, UK (2021); Pivot, Le Consortium, Dijon (2021); Unmanageable, Pilar Corrias, London (2020); Sun Salutations, Newport Art Museum, Newport, (2018) and Guess You Had To Be There, Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Atlanta (2014) among many others. In May 2018, Hughes completed Carving Out Fresh Options, a large-scale mural in Boston, MA commissioned by the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy in partnership with the de Cordova Sculpture Park and Museum.
Hughes has participated in numerous group exhibitions, at venues such as Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk (2021); Dallas Art Museum, Dallas (2019); MASS MoCA, North Adams (2018); and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA (2015). The artist was also included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. Hughes’ work belongs to many prominent museum collections including the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; the Denver Museum of Art, Denver, CO; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; the Jorge M. Perez Collection, Miami, FL; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Atlanta, GA; the M Woods Museum, Beijing, China; the Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ; the Rachofsky Collection, Dallas, TX; the Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO; the Si Shang Art Museum, Beijing, China; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; and the Whitney Museum of Art, New York, NY; among others. Hughes lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Forthcoming solo exhibitions include Shara Hughes, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Luzern (2022).