A Place, A Space, A Scene I've Seen, But Maybe Dreamed?

March 19 - April 30, 2017

A Place, A Space, A Scene I've Seen, But Maybe Dreamed? an exhibition of 11 new paintings by Chip Hughes opens March 19th, 2017. Deftly co-mingling abstraction with representation, the artist presents vibrant, colorful, dynamic paintings with powerful retinal after images. All works are rendered in richly colored jewel tones layered in translucent, overlapping swatches painted on top of stretched gingham. These meticulously rendered paintings are mysteries, surprising the viewer in countless ways and manners, confounding us, like daydreams unfolding and transmogrifying languidly over time.

Only the stretched gingham framing the sides of the canvases remains fully visible and unconcealed by layers of translucent paint, setting a table, through a lattice of abstraction if you will, for landscapes filled with embedded objects: a bottle, a brick, a butterfly, a window to name a few. In Hughes' capable hands, the paintings oscillate between the identifiable and the unidentifiable, between abstraction and representation: a picnic, a cityscape, a seascape comes in - and out - of focus, as through the lens of a daydream. All the while we are left wondering, however, about the facts of what we see, and how we see.

The titles of the works - along with the title of the show - revel the slipstream of Hughes' playful poetics: "Wilt Quilt Made of Silt" and "Crewel Cool" (both 2016) riff on the language of quilts, while "Dove Love" (2016) nods affectionately to the American abstractionist, Arthur Dove, whose visionary way of seeing the artist acknowledges with refreshing and romantic sincerity. This exhibition is New York-based artist, Chip Hughes' third one-person exhibition at Kerry Schuss gallery.

- Todd Alden