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Shara Hughes: Guess You Had To Be There

Apr 19, 2014 - Jun 28, 2014
10am - 5pm

2012/2013 Working Artist Project

The MOCA GA 2012/2013 Working Artist Project was selected by Julie Rodrigues Widholm, Pamela Alper Associate Curator, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

Shara Hughes: Guess You Had To Be There

Guess You Had To Be There was a body of work created within one year. Each piece was painted without a solid plan or end point in mind. The work comes out of discovery rather than execution. This is an important feeling for the show as a whole because I wanted the work to exude honesty and exploration through mistakes and intention. The work is full of paint handling. Energetic and punchy, it holds a sense of pushing and pulling from my personal interior affairs to the physical world.

Although this work strays from my usual interior scenes, it remains very much interior. Figures emerge from clouds, trees and blankets. Fruit, vessels, and heads emerge from grass, water and carpet. Each piece in the show emerges from an interior feeling, struggle or range of experiences. For example, The Juggler is a contortionist type person juggling their many heads and body parts. This speaks to the feeling of having to be different types of people and ‘wear many hats’ while exposing the central skeletal insides. Lets Grow Up Together is a portrait of two figures emerging from fruit-infested curtains that transition into two trees holding onto each other while bearing their own fruit. Green Monster, the greenest piece in the show, portrays the feeling of watching one person (whether it is an actual person, or something within your own body) leaving the physical person. This piece is about growing through hard decisions and transitions. The spiritual person stepping out of the body holds an apple while the crying physical person sprouts baby plants from their feet.  Follow Me, Follow Me is about a transition in somewhat of a push-and-pull type scenario. Are they leaving together or is one pulling the other back? The role for ‘the figure’ in this work is one of multiplicity. The main character is every person at times so that a feeling of multiple emotions through a single event can come across. Finally, the last piece I produced for the show Many Moons and it is a place of rest. It talks about looking forward and backwards and finding something still.

—Shara Hughes

View Catalogue/Database Exhibition Record

About the Artist:

Shara Hughes (b. 1981 in Atlanta) is a Brooklyn-based artist who studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine and the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, where she received a BFA in 2004. Her paintings combine elements of landscape, still life, and figuration to dizzying effects. She has had solo exhibitions around the world including the American Contemporary and Rivington Arms in New York, Museum 52 in London, and Mikael Anderson in Copenhagen and Berlin. Recently she was selected to exhibit at the Whitney Museum of Art as part of the Whitney Biennial.

Hughes completed a residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida and operated SEEK ATL, a monthly studio visit group for artists to engage in conversation and critique. In 2012 she was awarded the MOCA GA Working Artists Project fellowship. Hughes is best known for her playful brushstroke and bold color, balancing abstraction and representation.

More info about Shara Hughes can be found here