Shara Hughes is often referred to as a landscape painter, but from the artist’s point of view, her paintings “are not really about landscapes” at all. Working intuitively, her colorful paintings do not depict places either real or imagined. The artist loosely gives form to floating moons, gnarled trees, and blazing sunlight, bridging the abstract and representational. The paintings contain psychological complexity bringing to life a world that is elegantly chaotic—infused with a vibrant harmony of the organic, the subjective, and the surreal. At human scale—the size of her own “wingspan”—many of the works are immersive, inviting and alarming, beautiful and scary. For her first major solo museum exhibition in the US, CAM presents a survey of Hughes’s work from the past seven years, including more than thirty paintings, drawings, and prints.
Shara Hughes: On Edge is organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by Wassan Al-Khudhairi, Chief Curator and Misa Jeffereis, Assistant Curator.
Shara Hughes (b. 1981, Atlanta) earned a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and later attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Recent solo exhibitions include Le Consortium, Dijon, France; Newport Art Museum, Newport, RI; Gallery Met at the Metropolitan Opera, New York; and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Atlanta; among many others. Forthcoming solo exhibitions include the Garden Museum, London, UK; and the Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China, in 2021; and the Kunstmuseum Luzern, Luzern Switzerland, in 2022. Hughes has participated in numerous group exhibitions, at venues such as the Drawing Center, New York; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas; Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix; MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA; and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. The artist was also included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Hughes’s work belongs to many prominent museum collections including the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas; Denver Art Museum, Denver; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Jorge M. Perez Collection, Miami; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; M Woods Museum, Beijing, China; Rachofsky Collection, Dallas; Saint Louis Art Museum; Si Shang Art Museum, Beijing, China; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; Whitney Museum of Art; and the Yuz Museum; among others. Hughes currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.