Shara Hughes - Unbound: Online Only New York Thursday, October 18, 2018 | Phillips
  • Description

    Shara Hughes' painting Deer, from 2006, is an impeccable example of her ability to carefully render a seemingly simplistic interior with visually compelling objects. The individual components of her interiors do often allude to art historical symbolism, “For example,” she explains, “dogs are a symbol of protection. So, I would put a dog in my painting to talk about protection of myself, or some birds, or several other traditional symbols. And then I began to remove them, and I would bring in my own symbolism—broken trees or rocks that have been cut halfway. I continually create my own alphabet from my own symbols as my work progresses." (Shara Hughes, BOMB Magazine, April 9, 2013)

    As seen in this painting, a deer hovers at the right of the composition beneath a snippet of tree trunk. A deer or stag is a very culturally symbolic image, a scared animal often representing gentleness and intuition. Hughes does not refer to her objects as props or her scenes as stages, she utilizes intricate patterns to toy with perspective, the tiled floor, Zebra print bench, bushel of green leaves and almost organically patterned blue chair all carefully selected, read almost like visual clues to an unsolvable mystery. The scene is riddled with psychological complexity; the artist explains, “I don’t want it to feel like I’m in some person’s house. I do want them to be able to slip in and out of its being something and not being something, sort of how the paintings are.” (Shara Hughes, BOMB Magazine, April 9, 2013)

  • Provenance

    Rivington Arms, New York
    Private Collection, New York

  • 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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signed "S.HUGHES" lower left; further signed, titled and dated ""Deer" Shara Hughes 2006" on the reverse
oil on canvas
36 1/2 x 38 in. (92.7 x 96.5 cm.)
Painted in 2006.

$15,000 - 20,000 

Sold for $50,000

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Unbound: Online Only

Bidding Closes 30 October 2018