•  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
Saatchi Art
Saatchi Store
Current Exhibition

EXHIBITED AT THE SAATCHI GALLERY

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Dean Hughes
Shelves (i)

2008

Backing card

30 x 30 x 6.3 cm
“My work doesn’t start with materials, it starts with objects that have a use. When I began thinking about making artwork I wasn’t too interested in bronze or canvas, or any other traditional forms, because they come with a preconceived hierarchy. I was interested in things I thought didn’t have a relationship to art, like puddles or bus tickets. These things are from a similar family, they’re perfunctory and unloved things. I have found that trying to forget about making art opens up a much more generous process. This series originated from notebooks; I used the cardboard backings from the used writing pads I had. I became intrigued by the ring binder holes that were punched down the side. I made a cube just as a way to look at the holes without having to hold the card in my hand. There was enough in this activity to allow me to make more. For me it’s like building a relationship with them.”
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Dean Hughes
Shelves (ii)

2008

Backing card

15 x 20 x 6.3 cms
“My work used to be more about ideas, but now it’s much more about me seeing myself doing an activity. The process is really crucial. It’s about making an artwork from a thing which I think hasn’t been noticed. Part of my process is just looking at my objects in a space. My studio is in my flat and the works were made in different rooms, so I spent a long time living with them and looking at them in an everyday functional environment. It wasn’t until I first installed them in an empty space that I became aware of how much they are looking at you. I was surprised by how alive they seem. People often think of them as bird boxes or some form of architecture, but I don’t really think about them in a representational way. When I look at them it’s like they’re really full, like each one might have something in it.”
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Dean Hughes
Shelves (iii)

2008

Backing card

30 x 21 x 6.3 cms
“I try to make a better or the very best relationship with work that I can: I make one, and then try to have an even better experience when I make the next one and to attempt a unique expression. The cubes are 2.5 cm as I didn’t punch the holes. The scale is dictated by the distance of the hole to the edge of the paper. Measurements are important to my work: I’m fascinated by how the space between the edge of the paper and the hole can generate an artwork. It’s a way of not making a decision about it, and just going with something. Part of it is about me finding an admiration or beauty in those things. I thought about building things with them, but I try to keep as much as I can out of the work, so instead I made structures to see them in.”
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Dean Hughes
Shelves (iv)

2008

Backing card

30 x 21 x 6.3 cms
“How they are installed is an important aspect of the works’ process. In a sense they are like paintings hanging off pins on the wall. How they’re architecturally sited is important: their relationship to the space, floor, ceiling, and each other. They’re installed at different heights to help interrogate these relationships. It’s not a purely visual process; I’m interested in how they communicate beyond their given circumstance. I studied painting and as a student I was given a wall to work on – but never made any paintings, so I have a slightly uneasy relationship to the wall. My works are kind of sculptural, but they have a frontal view and aren’t something you can walk around.”
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Dean Hughes
Boxes

2008

Backing card

30 x 22.4 x 6.3 cms
“It’s strange talking about these works because they’re more about a haptic experience than an intellectual one. It’s difficult to verbally convey the experience of intimately coming to know an object or material over a long period of time by handling it or repeating a physical process or set of actions. I think it has something to do with the space inside them. You can’t see it, and I don’t know what it is, it’s unaccountable. When looking at them I’m aware that I’m looking through a hole punch, and I like the bog-standard ordinariness to it. When I first showed them, I went back to have look at them and saw a spider crawl out of one of the holes; it made sense to me.”
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Dean Hughes
Shelf and Boxes

2008

Backing card

22.4 x 23.4 x 6.3 cms
“It’s important that the works have a connection to my hand, I don’t feel comfortable with things bigger than my hand. I prefer to make things by hand, they have to be made by me – they’re never made by industrial processes and I never use assistants. I think that’s all artists have – the process of making things they don’t understand. Artists spend their time trying to understand things. What I really enjoy about looking at artwork is that it always relates to a person. It’s approachable because someone’s made decisions about it, and I can think about those decisions. In Shelf And Boxes the objects just sit on top of each other, they’re not glued down. There is an element of order, but they’re slightly out of line; this makes it seem more natural, like it should just be there.”
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Dean Hughes
Twin Shelves

2008

Backing card

15.3 x 34.2 x 6.3 cms

ARTICLES

Hughes makes the cut Fresh perspective in paper pieces

Art seldom objectifies the fragility of ideas as does the work of British artist Dean Hughes, who has his first exhibition in the United States at Hanley.
Working mostly with paper, Hughes has limited himself to a few operations: knife cuts, perforations with a hole punch, insertions, collage.
In the floor piece "Staples Through Paper" (2001), he has made a sort of abstract relief sculpture by pushing the prongs of unused staples through pinholes in a white page.
Two and only two staple ends share each pinhole. All the staples connect in a zigzag maze -- with no facet longer than a staple's span -- that covers almost the whole sheet from center to edges.
Unframed, "Staples Through Paper" stands about a quarter inch off the floor on its dozens of protruding wire legs.
Framed pieces from a series titled "Hole Punch Discs Slotted Through Paper" feature sheets patterned in low relief by little cuts into which Hughes has inserted the circles popped out of other pages by a paper punch.
Viewers who know the work of American sculptor Tom Friedman will think of him often in Hughes' show.
But "Lots of Cuts in a Piece of Blue Card" (2001), and a related piece in black, bring Sol LeWitt to mind. The unframed blue sheet, leaning against the wall on a small shelf, has been cut almost to ribbons by countless tiny incisions at right angles to each other.
The grid, timeworn foundation of pictorial abstraction, flickers back to life here with a magic not seen since LeWitt's early wall drawings.
Delicacy, commitment and a sense of the absurd beneath the mundane converge here in a manner we rarely see in contemporary art.
Like Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-1996), Hughes seems to work with great concentration but little strain.
He tweaks the dry idioms of conceptual and process art into fresh, improbable expressions of love for the real.

Read the entire article here
Source: sfgate.com