"Lovers among Lilacs"
September 10 - October 25, 2015
Lovers Among Lilacs, the title of Chip Hughes' second one-person show at Kerry Schuss conjures up the eponymous title of a 1930 painting by Marc Chagall depicting aa couple, collectively embracing a bouquet of purple flowers. The Russian-French artist's work is a pictorial correlative of lovers in the halcyon days of summer, replete with undiminished, sensorial plentitude. Hughes' new series here consists of finely painted textures also depicting a flowering riot of various purple hues. Engulfing the viewer in sensuous patterns of color, we are drawn into another correlative for the collapse that happens when lovers fall in love. Unlike Chagall, however, Hughes' pictorial field is a lattice of shifting geometries evoking finely woven tapestries, but which otherwise unfixes the viewer's gaze from a steady and knowable image that lies between representation and abstraction and between image and monochrome.
This work made by 29-year old painter is composed on an axis bold as love and they are unafraid to exalt in beauty that can only be approximated by the following words: optical romanticism. But these riots of color, these riots of flowers make our gaze unsteady, causing continuously shifting alterations of image and perspective over time.