“The art of making knots, which is the peak of both mental abstraction and manual work, could be seen as the human characteristic par excellence, just as much and perhaps even more than language…”
Maria Stenfors presents Dean Hughes, in his first solo exhibition with the gallery.
The new series is comprised of hand dyed, stitched calico shapes composed upon identical wooden slats. Calico, being unbleached and not fully processed, absorbs colour easily into the threads of equal weft and warp. Once the fabric is saturated with dye, it does not return to its original flat and uniform appearance and shows the definition and contours of the lines of dots and dashes that constitute the fabric. The geometry is allowed to relax and demonstrate the nature of the material. The work does not focus on its physicality but what the material reveals.
Hand sewn lines pepper the work in a simple and beguiling fashion. For Hughes, the relationship between stitching and thinking is inseparable, and as the line undulates from the surface to the hidden underside, the direction takes on a clearly thought out path, unpicking action from intention. The drawing is found as much on the slats as it is held on the fabric. Each fragment exists in relation to the others in beautiful compositions of lines, geometry and proportions.
Born in Manchester in 1974, Dean Hughes studied at Chelsea College of Art and Design. He was included in the British Art Show 5 and his work was featured in Phaidon’s book Vitamin D: New perspectives in Drawing. Recent exhibitions include Big Minis at CAPC, Bordeaux; Lonely at the Top, MUHKA, Antwerp; Graphology, Drawing room, London; and Newspeak: British Art Now, Saatchi Gallery. Recently his work could be seen in ‘The Empty Set’ at Maria Stenfors.
Exhibition dates: 24 January – 8 March 2014