Flowers Gallery is pleased to announce Perspective Anew, an exhibition of new paintings by the renowned British Surrealist Patrick Hughes. The exhibition coincides with the launch of a 240 page monograph A New Perspective, with essays by Professor Dawn Ades, Professor Martin Kemp, Dr. Thomas Papathomas, and Murray McDonald. The publication traces Hughes’ lifelong exploration of visual paradox and perspective, placing his work in a historical dialogue with the masters of the Renaissance and Surrealism; and setting his progress within the context of scientific research in the field of three-dimensional visual perception.
Since his breakthrough discovery of reverse perspective, Hughes has continued to confound viewers with his visually deceptive three-dimensional paintings, which appear to move as the viewer adjusts their own position. As Professor Dawn Ades describes in the opening essay of A New Perspective: “These really have to be experienced physically, in the flesh, for they are only activated fully by the spectator’s movement. They thus take their place, with Duchamp’s Large Glass and Etant donnés, Dalí’s paranoiac-critical room (Mae West’s Face Which May Be Used as a Surrealist Apartment), or the now-vanished surrealist installations, as creations that need the physical presence of a spectator to be complete, engaging the body as well as the eye and the mind.”
Perspective Anew, from which the exhibition takes its title, features his new book presented in reverse perspective or ‘reverspective’. Stacks of books, and libraries, have been a recurring theme in the artist’s work, reflecting an exploration of ideas through the use of language as well as visual representation. Within Perspective Anew, two small three-dimensional reverspectives of earlier paintings by Hughes appear on the far walls, depicting artist’s monographs from Avery to Picasso, and the Surrealist artists Dalí, Ernst and Magritte.
Artworks within the paintings have also provided Hughes with enduring subject matter, taken further in recent times by the addition of miniature reverspectives built into the three-dimensional constructions. Perspective Anew includes representations of perspectival works by Balthus, Steinberg, Escher, Klee and de Chirico, and a painting titled The Allegory of Good Government, painted by Ambrogio Lorenzetti before perspective was invented in the fourteenth century; forming a personal gallery of Hughes’ most admired artists.
The Beyeler Foundation in Switzerland and the Maeght Foundation in southern France form the subjects of two paintings in the exhibition, The Beyeler and Beyond, and My Best Maeght. Notably, The Beyeler and Beyond includes a rare example of threedimensional figures in the reverspective (two figurative sculptures by Giacometti), painted onto the frontal planes of the construction.
Skyscraper in an Apartment, recalls a period of time during the early 1980s when Hughes lived and worked in Manhattan. The painting refers to a variety of works by nine American artists, Basquiat, Koons, Johns, D’Arcangelo, Calder, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Katz and Guston, which are presented alongside a skyscraper in forced perspective, buttressing an interior wall. Describing the influence of the buildings and streets of Manhattan, and their gridlike compositions, Hughes says: “New York is a city in perspective, with straight lines of avenues and streets running to infinity.”