Newport Art Museum to welcome Shara Hughes’ ‘Sun Salutations’ in collaboration with ART&NEWPORT

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Shara Hughes, Jagged Little Hills, 2018, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 84 x 70 inches, Courtesy of the artist and Rachel Uffner Gallery, NY.

The Newport Art Museum, in collaboration withART&NEWPORT, is pleased to present an exhibition of Shara Hughes’ paintings titled Sun Salutations, guest curated by art critic Dodie Kazanjian. The exhibition will be on view in the Museum’s Cushing Gallery from June 15 – September 3, 2018. The Newport Art Museum is located at 76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI. Visit newportartmuseum.org or call 401-848-8200 for details.

Shara Hughes’ work was featured in the 2017 Whitney Biennial, where her vivid and fantastical landscape paintings earned the artist great acclaim, catapulting her into the global art scene. Building on a visual vocabulary of the early modernist painters, Hughes creates landscapes that are altogether new in their depiction of pictorial space. A blend of abstraction and representation, Hughes’ paintings take the viewer on a journey through the composition, with twists and turns that encourage new ways of looking. For Sun Salutations, Hughes has created three monumental paintings inspired by Purgatory Chasm, a glacial cleft about 10 feet wide and about 50 feet deep, in nearby Middletown, RI.

Guest curator Dodie Kazanjian said “When I took Shara to see Purgatory Chasm early one morning in April, it was the first time for both of us. As we stood in front of it, with the sun shining through the morning mist, I said, ‘This is your image – it’s what you’ve been painting all your life.’”

Exhibiting artist Shara Hughes said “When I’ve spent time in Newport, it’s been very apparent how important water is to the shapes of the landscape as well as the shapes of the community. It seems we’re always aligning ourselves towards the ocean. We face our homes out to it, we curve roads and trails around it, and our entire ecosystem depends on it. I wanted to make three prominent paintings that were shaped and linked by water, and to use primary colors. There’s something about pure, unmixed color that gives the work a sharpness – the sun is crisper, the reflections are sharper, and it made sense to me to incorporate that kind of visual language.”

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The three paintings will be on display at the Newport Art Museum through September 3, 2018.

ART&NEWPORT, a nonprofit corporation, aims to develop and host a series of citywide visual arts presentations in Newport, Rhode Island. It was inaugurated last summer with exhibitions and events, all free and open to the public, in Trinity Church, the Newport Art Museum, and the Redwood Library & Athenaeum. ART&NEWPORT will work closely with state and local institutions, the City of Newport, and its tourism board to educate and create programming that will make use of the city’s natural landscape and its history as a place for contemporary art and artists.

Shara Hughes lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and later attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has had solo exhibitions at The Metropolitan Opera’s Gallery Met, curated by Dodie Kazanjian (New York, NY), and The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (Atlanta, GA), among others. Hughes currently has a mural on display on the Greenway Wall in Boston, MA; a partnership project between the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy and deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum (Lincoln, MA). Last summer as part of ART&NEWPORT, Hughes’ fanciful Pleasure House installation activated the 18th century octagonal folly in the garden of the Redwood Library & Athenaeum. Hughes has work in the permanent collections of the Dallas Museum of Art (TX), Denver Art Museum (CO), High Museum of Art (Atlanta, GA), Jorge M. Perez Collection (Miami, FL), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY), Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (Atlanta), North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh), Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, DC), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY) among others. Hughes is represented by Rachel Uffner Gallery in New York City and Galerie Eva Presenhuber in Zurich.

Dodie Kazanjian, who was born and raised in Newport, has covered the art world forVogue since 1989, where she has identified and profiled many of the leading young artists of our time. She is also the founding director of Gallery Met, the contemporary art space at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Her books include Icons, Dodie Goes Shopping, and Alex, a biography of the legendary Alexander Liberman, which she co-authored with writer Calvin Tomkins. She established ART&NEWPORT in 2017 to celebrate contemporary art in the city of Newport, Rhode Island.

Founded in 1912, the Newport Art Museum is one of the oldest continuously operating and most highly regarded art museums and schools of its kind in the country. The Art Museum offers a provocative diversity of creative voices in its historic Newport setting. Visitors can expect treasures from its permanent collection featuring American art from the late 19th century to the present, as well as programmed exhibitions of contemporary art. Dedicated Museum docents are available to offer guided tours of the campus and educate visitors on the architecture, artwork and history of the Museum. Artist Talks, film screenings, lectures and musical performances are scheduled throughout the year.

The Museum operates on a three-building campus, the main building being National Historic landmark, the John N.A. Griswold House. It was designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt, completed in 1864 and remains the premier example of American “Stick-Style” architecture. Richard Morris Hunt went on to design Marble House, The Breakers, Ochre Court, Belcourt Castle, and other landmarks in Newport and New York, including the base for the Statue of Liberty. Adjacent to the Griswold House is the Cushing Building, built in 1919, featuring two rotating galleries as well as the Cushing Memorial Gallery dedicated to the artist Howard Gardiner Cushing. Completing the three-building campus is the Museum’s art school, the Coleman Center for Creative Studies, which offers year-round art classes, camps and workshops, incorporates the Museum’s collection into its curriculum and focuses on art fundamentals as well as design, digital studies and continuing education for artists of all ages and interests. The Newport Art Museum is fully accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

The Museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, Thursdays April – December until 7 pm, Sunday from noon to 5 pm, and from 10 am to 9 pm every second Thursday of the month for the Art After Dark programming. The Museum is closed to the public on Mondays. Museum membership levels and benefits, art school classes and registration, exhibition schedules, public programming, and more can be found at www.newportartmuseum.org. Phone: (401) 848-8200.

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