Night Opening (2022)
Filled with organic shapes in luminous colors, the paintings of the internationally acclaimed US artist Shara Hughes – who has had numerous solo exhibitions, including at the Whitney Biennial, New York; Le Consortium, Dijon; and the Yuz Museum, Shanghai – are landscapes of their own kind. Working at the intersection of abstraction and figuration, Hughes envisions dreamlike scenes, which she furnishes with hovering clouds, gnarled trees, and outsized calyxes bathing in the noonday sun’s brilliant glare or basking in the soft light of a full moon. As though they were individuals with distinctive personalities, the pines and poppies, birch trees and petunias awaken to a life of their own that seems graceful in some paintings, menacing in others. Created especially for TEXTE ZUR KUNST, Hughes’s edition “Night Opening” (2022) is a perfect example of this. The drypoint etching’s dark purple hue suggests the glow from blue light that transmutes day into night and casts a cool and almost deadening pall over the surreal vine stretching toward the moon’s rays. The mat, frame, and hand-torn paper underscore the austere elegance of the stylistically and technically meticulous print. The nocturnal florescence suggested in the title may be rare in the plant kingdom. In the art world, however, it is not: festive exhibition openings are a thing of the nighttime.