Whitney Biennial 2017

Solo en Inglès

Shara Hughes (b.1981), In The Clear, 2016. Oil, acrylic and dye on canvas, 68 x 60 in. (172.7 x 152.4 cm). Collection of the artist; courtesy the artist and Rachel Uffner, New York

Shara Hughes: I'm Shara Hughes. I'm from Atlanta, Georgia and I've lived in New York for two and a half years. I started making these landscapes pretty much when I moved here. They are all completely made up. I've never been to these places, I don't dream about these places, I don't see them before I start them. I just kind of start and they just evolve pretty intuitively.

Most of the time, I start with—I dye the canvas a certain color and then it sparks something inside of me to then make another move. A lot of it's raw canvas combined with heavily gessoed canvas or parts of them that are prepared with caulk. 

Narrator: Thick surface treatments like gesso and caulk make some areas of the canvas more opaque and less absorbent. 

Shara Hughes: The paint sits on it different ways and that stretches the limitations of the illusion of how far off something is. If something is dyed first, it feels like it's really far away, whereas if something's heavily gessoed, it kind of sits on top and it feels closer. Sometimes, I'm also painting from behind. I'll spray paint from behind before it's been treated and it'll bleed through and it'll be like sort of an abstract mark that I have to deal with.