Farida Hughes, a Kolman & Pryor Gallery artist, has long been taken with the phrase “All the world’s a stage…” which opens the famous monologue in Shakespeare’s play, As You Like It. In Actors & Spectators, Hughes’ first solo show at Kolman & Pryor, she explores “how we participate in our world via movement” as both players and viewers. “In acting,” says Hughes, “we engage in rehearsing, repeating the same routine in a specific space, and as audience we find ourselves both inside and apart from the action.” Actors & Spectators includes both paintings and installations.It begins at Kolman & Pryor on Saturday, September 13, 2014 and runs through Saturday, November 1, 2014, with a free public reception on Saturday, September 27, 2014, 7-10 p.m. During the evening of September 27, Kolman & Pryor Gallery and North Loop galleries, Veronique Wantz Gallery, Traffic Zone Gallery and Form + Content Gallery, will also be celebrating Form + Contents’s seventh anniversary with coordinated openings and receptions.
Hughes’ singular paintings—distinguished by her energetic mark making that conveys anonymous groups of people surging and sweeping across the canvas—are primarily concerned with “how we flow through spaces in our world,” she says. “The work is influenced by places where I see groups mingling and coming together,” she explains, such as skating rinks, crowds milling during events, and the starting area for marathons.
Created from an aerial perspective, Hughes’ paintings are colorful composites of places and crowds. Some canvases are tightly cropped to convey a space filled to the brim; others are more open expressions of kinetic space. “Farida explores mark-making as a means to instigate a dynamic dialogue between people and the way we interact with public/private space and architecture,” says Patrick Kemal Pryor, curator and co-owner of Kolman & Pryor. “We value this dialogue and appreciate the formal aspects she uses.”
The exhibition also includes a red fabric installation cascading from the ceiling to the floor. “Is it a brushstroke? Robe? Veil? Carpet?” Hughes asks. “Does it reveal or conceal? How does it relate to ideas of individuality versus the group?” In a mixed-media installation for the floor—created from resin, oil paint and polymer clay—“each object has its own personality, but relates to the others, as separate pieces that ultimately belong to a whole,” Hughes explains.
Hughes participated in the gallery’s first abstract painting show during summer 2011 titled A Summer of Abstract Art. She was also part of the fall 2013 group show, 30 X 30. She joined the gallery’s group of artists in December 2013. “Farida’s paintings provide a unique perspective on abstract art,” says Anita Sue Kolman, gallery co-owner. “At the same time her work complements the vitality and innovative styles of the gallery’s current roster of abstract painters.”