Ronnie Hughes, Strange Attractors consists of a large body of the artist’s recent work, which showcases a pronouncedly idiosyncratic approach to making both paintings and drawings.
The exhibition is organised and toured by the Model, home of the Niland Collection, Sligo in partnership with the Royal Hibernian Academy and Limerick City Gallery of Art.
Acting Director of The Model, Emer McGarry commented: “We are delighted to have secured funding from the Arts Council to present this major touring solo show. Ronnie Hughes is one of the most dynamic abstract painters working in Ireland today, and it’s an honour to bring his work to new audiences. Hughes’s works display a diversity of styles and an interest in optical and haptic effects but, at heart, all share a common concern with the lived experience, which is described by the artist as ‘the beauty, the fragility and the violence of being’.
Strange Attractors will showcase a selection of new intimate paintings with larger canvases that are confrontational in their manner, but all with clashing colour and kitschy geometrics similar to late 1960’s American interior design. These works are positioned against free flowing gouache drawings reminiscent of the designs from theoretical physics and science fiction.
“The exhibition is a retrospective of my recent paintings and drawings and features work that demonstrates my interest in corrupting grids, energy fields and patterns to set up an expectation, and then thwart it somehow. I try to arrest the work at a tenuous moment and like it when the work seems to hover on the brink of collapse – like chaos has been temporarily held in check, and that is a theme of this body of work. Throughout my career, I have endeavoured to create art that is expressive and I look forward to hearing how visitors to the exhibition experience my work.” Ronnie Hughes.
A full colour publication will accompany this exhibition.
The project has been funded by the Arts Council’s Touring and Dissemination of Work Scheme.
Born in Belfast in 1965, though now a long-term resident in Sligo, Ronnie Hughes studied at the University of Ulster, Belfast, receiving an MA in Fine Art in 1989. Hughes has had numerous solo exhibitions throughout Ireland including; Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, Context, Derry, Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast, Goethe Institute, Dublin, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Limerick City Gallery, Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown, Model Arts Centre, Sligo, Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast, Sirius Arts Centre, Cork and has participated in many group exhibitions worldwide.
Recent solo exhibitions include Supernumerary at Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast and Zygotic Tendenciespresented at Chicago Art Fair, Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles (both projects supported by Culture Ireland) and Rubicon Gallery, Dublin.
Hughes’ work has been written about extensively and he has received a multitude of awards including a one-year residency in New York, PS1, 1990-91 and three-month residencies at Banff Arts Center, Canada, 1994 and Bemis Arts Center, Nebraska, 1997. In 2006 he was awarded both the Irish Artist Fellowship – a one-month residency at the Vermont Studio Center and a two-month residency at the Albers Foundation in Connecticut.
Hughes’ work is held in many public and corporate collections, including both Irish Arts Councils and the Irish Museum of Modern Art.