Hugh Mendes – Obituaries & Other Works

 

Hugh Mendes_SidBarret(CrazyDiamond) 2Obituaries and Other Works

Hugh Mendes has been painting images of newspaper clippings for about ten years now. The medium came to prominence in his work following 9/11, the day of his MA graduation, when he showed a painting of Osama Bin Laden pointing a gun at a triumphant George Bush. It had been painted about a month previously in response to his contested election victory.

The use of newspaper clippings provides a very flat spatial field, recalls certain trompe l’oeil 17th century still life and can deal directly with contemporary issues such as cloning and terrorism. These are contemporary manifestations of the timeless themes of birth and death.

Recently Mendes has been working on an ongoing, and never ending, series of obituaries. These journalistic articles serve to condense a life into a few column inches and a single image – a scrap of newsprint that becomes a heavy token, a memento, even an icon, when rendered in paint.

Focusing on iconic and irreverent imagery, this Obituaries series, largely sourced from the British paper The Guardian, serve as a meditation on mortality, and has gradually become dominant within the artist’s body of work. The act of painting, and therefore sustained concentration, brings a degree of focus and depth to what otherwise would be fleeting moments in the press.

This exhibition will run from 01 September through to 27 November 2016