Flowers is pleased to announce Studiolospective, an exhibition of new paintings by the renowned British surrealist Patrick Hughes. The show will run from May 1 through June 7 with an opening reception for the artist on Thursday, May 1, from 6 to 8pm.
‘My pictures seem to move as you move. They come to life when we bring them to life. This is because they are made in perspective the wrong way round, in reverspective. If you bob down in front of them, it is as if you have gone up, and as you walk past to the right it is as if you have gone to the left. I am delighted to bring together paintings for this exhibition, which move between the centuries.’ Patrick Hughes, London, 2014
The centerpiece of the exhibition is A Study Of The Studiolo. A studiolo, meaning ‘a little studio,’ was in 15th century Italy a small, often extravagantly decorated room reserved for studying, writing, and reading – all correlations with Hughes himself, an avid academic.
Hughes based his painting on the studiolo of Federico, the Duke of Montefeltro, who commissioned his marquetry studioli in Gubbio and Urbino in about 1480. The Urbino Studiolo in Italy still exists in-situ, while the Gubbio Studiolo was re-installed in its own room in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1996. Having visited both studioli several times, Hughes brings the studiolo to life again in his three-dimensional reverse perspective context, almost six hundred years after Brunelleschi invented perspective in 1420.
Other works in the exhibition include Going into Reverse, which depicts multiple library shelves filled with books, seamlessly moving across the painting and luring the viewer into its space, and Flowers New York, a reverspective rendering of the Chelsea gallery space and works of some of its stable of artists.
Hughes’ painted reliefs baffle his audience, demonstrating how deceptive appearances can be. As one walks towards the seemingly flat paintings they instead loom out, creating a disorientating, ‘moving’ experience. The assumptions of eye and brain are challenged, raising questions about our perception and the subconscious, on which Hughes has extensively written and lectured at the American Institute of Physics, UC Berkeley’s conference on neuroaesthetics and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Hughes’ witty illusions are not meant to confuse us (although they do), but aim to clarify our relation to reality. Instead of describing paradox, we can now experience it interactively.
Complementing the exhibition will be a screening of the film Hughesually: The Art of Patrick Hughes by the British feature film director Jake West.
Born in Birmingham, England in 1939, Patrick Hughes lives and works in London. Pieces produced throughout his career are in public collections including the British Library, London; the Tate Gallery, London; the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow; the Denver Art Museum and the Nasher Museum at Duke University, North Carolina. His work was included in The Collections of Nesuhi Ertegun and Daniel Filipacchi, the 1999 Surrealist exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum, New York. In 2000, Hughes had a solo exhibition at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. He has had solo shows in London, Geneva, Köln, Dubai, New Delhi, Seoul, Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco.
In 2014 Hughes will mark his 75th year with the publication of a new monograph in the autumn and further exhibitions, including solo shows at Northeastern University, Boston, and Panorama Mesdag at The Hague, Netherlands, along with the touring exhibition Visual Deception II: Into the Future that will show Hughes’ work alongside Magritte and Escher in museums in Kobe, Toyko, and Nagoya, Japan.