Sunday, October 21, 2007

PATRICK HUGHES THE PRINTS IN BETWEEN until 17.11.07 Flowers Graphic, London

The artist adopts a variety of different motifs in these works - stars, roses, rainbows, hearts, eggs, ghosts, phones, cocks, crosses and keyholes appear in various guises whilst themes of paradox and oxymoron remain a fixed preoccupation.

This exhibition features two rainbow prints - a recurring image in his work. In his use of the rainbow Patrick Hughes, was interested in making substance of an experience - something evanescent made permanent. With his opaque, fixed rainbow he continually approaches the idea of creating something tangible out of a chance happening. In Colour Process 1984, the rainbow curls into an early computer screen, and in Falling Blossom 1984, the confetti, already a paper confection of images of bows, bells, hearts and horseshoes, happens to fall into a rainbow arrangement. Stardust 1983 and Paper Roses 1985 (pictured above) use this same notion of solid light. This idea was first developed in Hughes' Sunshine 1974 in which a beam of solid yellow light pours itself as an object through a window.

The set of eight prints published in 1986 - Beach Heart, Cobweb, Egg in the Sky, Ghost on the Line, Jigsaw, Keyholes, Telephone at the Door and This Way Up originate from watercolours made by the artist during a move towards a more fluid working method. This period of experimentation led to Hughes' 'reverspectives' - an ongoing series of 3D constructions on the theme of reverse perspective for which he is perhaps best known. We also see the beginnings of this body of work in the etchings of 1988, Bend in the Road, Highways and Byways and The Republic of the Road where infinity takes centre stage. A rich source of paradox, infinity lies at the back of Hughes reverspectives as they always seek and sometimes find the ubiquitous vanishing point.


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