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Hugh Mendes Main Profile Image

Hugh Mendes

London/UK

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Drawing, Painting • Born in Hostert, Germany • Studied at London/UK
 2

Art News: The Death of the Artist

Hugh Mendes’ paintings are images not of people, but of people in the act of being remembered. His work’s re-enactment of memory is there in the tension between precision (the careful transcription of the photographic source) and fuzziness (the lines of text, reduced to just-illegible lines of dark grey). What looks painstakingly precise is continually tempered with a painterliness that stands for uncertainty: the slightly fogged text is...

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Hugh Mendes’ paintings are images not of people, but of people in the act of being remembered. His work’s re-enactment of memory is there in the tension between precision (the careful transcription of the photographic source) and fuzziness (the lines of text, reduced to just-illegible lines of dark grey). What looks painstakingly precise is continually tempered with a painterliness that stands for uncertainty: the slightly fogged text is like that seen in a dream, a hazy mesh of strips that never quite coalesces into writing. Implied in this approach is a yearning held at bay by an absence of complete knowledge, an attempt to communicate in a language you haven’t quite mastered. In Mendes’ image of art critic and artist Tom Lubbock, the act of translating the photographed face into paint replicates the intense scrutiny of the one left behind, like a loved picture in a locket, as well as reflecting Lubbock’s own penetrating analysis of paintings in his writing. In this sense, Mendes’ Obituaries are suffused with the hidden presence of the artist himself, gazing, as though remembering, at the image on the studio wall, while it imperceptibly deletes itself before his very eyes. Mendes’ image of Lubbock is a testament of something having been seen. The act of seeing creates an immortality, of sorts. This paper was here, looking like this. The light fell like this.
Ben Street

Mike Kelley and others

Mike Kelley and others

Russell Means in progress

Russell Means in progress

Obituary: Tom Lubbock

Obituary: Tom Lubbock

Obituary: Otto Piene

Obituary: Otto Piene

Obituary: Chris Burden

Obituary: Chris Burden

Louise Bourgeois, signing

Louise Bourgeois, signing

Osama Bin Laden with Liz Taylor

Osama Bin Laden with Liz Taylor

Entering/leaving the studio

Entering/leaving the studio

What is it about your studio space that inspires you?

Its a lovely light space in a great studio block. Some of the other artists on this site are here...

What sounds, scents and sights do you encounter while in your studio?

I love walking into the space. Hit by the light streaming in the window and the smell of oil paint and turpentine!

What is your favourite material to work with? How has your use of it evolved throughout your practice?

Oil paint on superfine linen. I am still learning the incredible nuances of these materials after 20 odd years...

What themes do you pursue?

I work from newspaper clippings. Mainly Obituaries, also World News events.

What advice has had the biggest impact on your career?

A gallerist asked if I had ever worked from newspaper clippings in the context of 'Still Life'. I said no, but it was a challenge. Pivotal!

If you could install your art absolutely anywhere, where would that be?

So many beautiful places. I like the 'Art Hotel' Castell in Zuoz, Switzerland...

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?

Maybe a tiny Vermeer, like 'The Lacemaker'

If you weren´t an artist, what would you be doing?

Teaching Buddhism and Meditation which I have done off and on for many years...

What are your favourite places besides your studio?

Galleries... like MOMA, LACMA, Ludwig... so many. And nice cocktail bars!


EXHIBITIONS

SOLO

2014

Nachrufe, Galerie Braubach5, Frankfurt

GROUP

2015

Black Paintings Charlie Smith London & Heike Strelow Frankfurt

WORKS IN COLLECTIONS

Asher Collection, Los Angeles

Jerry Hall, London

Nobel Collection, Zurich

show all

GALLERIES

GUSFORD, Los Angeles | http://www.gusfordgallery.com/artists/26-hugh-mendes/works/

Charlie Smith London | http://charliesmithlondon.com/artists/hugh-mendes/

PUBLICATIONS


For more information and inquiries about this artist, please contact Artitious by emailing to artist@artitious.com

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