Shara Hughes - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale Hong Kong Saturday, November 25, 2017 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Marlborough Contemporary Gallery, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Two Pricks by Shara Hughes showcases the buoyant colours and energetic mark-making characteristic of the artist’s series of abstracted “invented landscape” paintings. Prominently featured in the 2017 Whitney Biennial, Hughes’s vivid, kaleidoscopic paintings of landscapes and seascapes have earned widespread critical recognition, often being described as “portals into unique universes.” (Rachel Uffner, “Shara Hughes: Same Space Different Day”) Two Pricks depicts two large, elongated shapes rendered with tones of green and burnt umber, placed within a desert-like environment denoted by the confetti marks and striations of clear sky blue, peach, pink, ochre and red. The gorgeously animated background juxtaposes against, while also providing compositional foundations for the vertically oriented foreground. The two stretched forms resemble not only desert flora, but they also appear strikingly charismatic, perhaps as though they illustrate abstracted human figures.

    Hughes defines her artistic process as organic and slightly surrealistic. She begins with one colour and then “lets the paint and her unconscious take the lead.” (Stephanie Cash, “Shara Hughes,” Art in America, 2014) Though Hughes presents guileless visions of polychrome arcadia, the artist’s contributions to American painting combine contemporary methods with references to historical tradition. Though her works can be seen as painterly iterations of David Hockney’s recent ‘Ipad drawings’, Hughes’s sensitivities to colour and decorative patterning are comparable to Henri Matisse’s Fauvism and Gustav Klimt’s plein air paintings. Her work also points to the seminal paintings of Gregory Amenoff who similarly sought to engage the lyrical and transcendental powers of nature. Playing with the boundaries of the real and imagined to appear at once familiar and otherworldly, Hughes’s paintings describe fantastical spaces that investigate what lies at the heart of the subconscious.

  • Artist Biography

    Shara Hughes

    Shara Hughes (b. 1981) earned a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and later attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. 

    The artist is best known for her colorful landscapes which bridge a gap between the real and the imagined, and the beautiful and the chaotic. Working intuitively, the artist does not typically pre-plan her canvases. Rather her process involves giving form and shape to her previously applied brushstrokes and reacting to her last applications of paint and color through more painting. 

    Hughes has participated in numerous group exhibitions, at venues such as FLAG Art Foundation, NY (2023); ICA Miami (2022); De la Cruz Collection (2022); 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.

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Two Pricks

signed, titled and dated '"TWO PRICKS" 2015 SHARA HUGHES' on the reverse
oil, acrylic and vinyl on canvas
122.2 x 101.5 cm (48 1/8 x 39 7/8 in.)
Painted in 2015.

HK$60,000 - 90,000 

Sold for HK$525,000

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20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 26 November 2017