Installation view of Shara Hughes’ work <em>Growing Pains</em> on display in NGV Triennial from 3 December 2023 – 7 April 2024 at NGV International, Melbourne. Photo: Sean Fennessy<br/>

Shara Hughes

Photo: Blaine Davis Studio courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery

Shara Hughes
United States born 1981

Level 2
NGV International
View on map

Depicting imagined landscapes, Shara Hughes views her works as reflections of her psychological interior world. She suggests that a single flower might be ‘a self-portrait, while a landscape feels more like a zoomed-out view of what’s going on personally or emotionally’. Hughes uses abstract and representational imagery, depicting natural motifs, snake-like trees, reflections of bodies in water and night skies alongside abstracted, undefined forms. Her technique, in which she mixes pigment on the canvas surface, is reminiscent of a range of art historical references, including Post-Impressionist and Colour Field painting.

Shara Hughes uses dizzying brushwork, vibrant colours and shifting perspectives to make paintings that defy many conventions of the landscape genre. Hughes has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg, Denmark, in 2023; FLAG Art Foundation, New York, 2022; Kunstmuseum Luzern, 2022; Yuz Museum, Shanghai, 2021–22; and Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2021. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Denver Art Museum; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC. Hughes lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Purchased with funds donated by July Cao, 2023