Shara Hughes: Sun Salutations

Hughes creates landscapes that are altogether new in their depiction of pictorial space.

June 15, 2018 - September 3, 2018

Morris Gallery

The Newport Art Museum is pleased to present this exhibition of Shara Hughes’
paintings guest curated by Dodie Kazanjian, in collaboration with ART&NEWPORT. Shara Hughes’ work was featured in the 2017 Whitney Biennial, where her vivid and fantastical landscape paintings catapulted 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’ encourage new ways of looking.

For “Sun Salutations,” Hughes has created three monumental paintings inspired by
Newport’s Purgatory Chasm for the Newport Art Museum. According to the artist,
“When I’ve spent time in Newport it has been very apparent how important water is to
the shape of the landscape, as well as the shape 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.”

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, a public art park in Boston. 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. She has work in the permanent collections of the Dallas Museum of Art (TX), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY), Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, D.C.), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY) among others. She is represented by Rachel Uffner Gallery in New York and Galerie Eva Presenhuber in Zurich.

Dodie Kazanjian, who was born and raised in Newport, has covered the art world for
Vogue 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. She established ART&NEWPORT in 2017 to celebrate contemporary art in the city of Newport, Rhode Island.


ART&NEWPORT, a nonprofit corporation, aims to develop and host a series of citywide visual arts presentations in Newport. 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.