“My pictures seem to move as you move. They come to life when we bring them to life. This is because they are made in perspective the wrong way round, in reverspective. If you bob down in front of them, it is as if you have gone up, and as you walk past to the right it is as if you have gone to the left and vica versa” – Patrick Hughes.
Patrick Hughes (Bermingham, 1939) lives and works in London. More than fifty years ago he began his career with very playful work inspired by the surreal tradition in 20th century modernist art. Since his breakthrough discovery of reverse perspective, Hughes has continued to confound viewers with his three- dimensional paintings, by presenting those parts of the picture that seem farthest away at the nearest point.
The visual effect of his work is one of constant motion, determined by the shifting position of the viewer. As Professor Damn Ades describes in the opening essay of the Patrick Hughes book, A New Perspective: “These really have to be experienced physically, in the flesh, for they are only activated fully by the spectator’s movement. They thus take their place, with Duchamp’s Large Glass and Etant donnés, Dalí’s paranoiac-critical room (Mae West’s Face Which May be Used as a Surrealist Apartment), or the now-vanished surrealist installations, as creations that need the physical presence of a spectator to be complete, engaging the body as well as the eye and the mind.”
Frequently linked with surreal and pop artists, Hughes created his own specific genre. His work is direct, ambiguous, and appeals strongly to anybody’s imagination. The work addresses to a realm of visual sensation and deludes our perception of the environment.
Widely recongnised as one of the major painters of contemporary British art, Hughes works are part of many public collections including: the Tate Gallery, London (UK); the Victoria & Albert Museum, London (UK); Phillip Morris Collection, New York (USA); Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (USA), Brooklyn Museum (USA), the British Library, London (UK); The Arts Council of Great Britain (UK), Deutsche Bibliothek, Frankfurt (Germany) and many more.
Hughes has exhibited in London and throughout Europe, South East Asia, America and Canada. In 2014 solo exhibitions have included Moving Space at Panorama Mestdag Museum, The Hague (Netherlands), Gallery 360, Northeastern University, Boston (USA) and his work also features in the exhibion Visual Deception II: Into the Future which toors museums in Japan 2014-2015, via Tokyo, Nagoya and Kobe.
In Oktober 2014 Hughes’ research, exploring the paradoxical nature of the visual arts, has been awarded Doctor of Science honoris causa by the School of Advance Studies, London. Commenting on his award Patrick Hughes said: “I have been absorbed in the science of perception and perspective since I started making art, so to be honoured by the University with a Doctor of Science degree is the culmination of fifty years of study, to be continued.”