The Hunt Through New Eyes: Hugo Wilson at Shapero Modern

Shapero Modern is delighted to present their upcoming exhibition, Chroma hunt, a collection of hand-coloured etchings by renowned British artist, Hugo Wilson.

A portfolio of nine etchings will be on view at the Mayfair gallery, all of which are related to the artist’s most recent painting series portraying the most primal of all human rituals, the hunt.

It is important to recognise the history of hunting paintings when considering this work; hunting scenes were popular with wealthy collectors in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They represented a sort of ‘trophyism’ as well as a physical way of displaying man’s mastery over the natural world.

Screen Shot 2016-12-02 at 10.41.29 AM.png
Hunt IV, 2016, hand-coloured etching and aquatint on Velin Arches Blanc 400gsm. Courtesy of the Artist and Shapero Modern.

Wilson’s etchings for this exhibition are based on, or inspired by, famous hunting paintings by old masters including Rubens and Stubbs, but instead of the typical narrative of man vs. beast, they illustrate strange and unlikely events where lions, crocodiles and other fierce creatures have been trained to hunt other animals. The human hunter remains entirely unseen.

Reminiscent of mythic battle scenes, Wilson’s paintings shake the foundation of the context that they appear to mimic.

As contemporary as these works are thematically, Wilson’s classical training shines through in them. The artist studied at the respected Charles H. Cecil Studio in Florence, Italy. His work suggests both a devotion to and subversion of this tradition, making it all the more unique and enticing.

Art historian Alison Bracker has written: ‘As his stunning new work confirms, Wilson translates the aesthetics of past centuries and cultures into an oeuvre that continually wrestles with one question in particular: why has man persisted in creating and sustaining ideological structures throughout time? The question invigorates the artist’s ‘Hunt’ paintings, which re-imagine the hunting rituals and mythologies enacted within works by Rubens, Stubbs and Venetian painter Jacopo de’ Barbari.’ †

This is surely an exhibition not to be missed.

 

† Alison Bracker, from ‘Never a Single Approach,’ in Hugo Wilson, Parafin, London, 2015

– India Irving

Hugo Wilson, Chroma hunt will be on view from 14th December – 10th January 2016 at Shapero Modern; 32 St. George Street, London W1S 2EA; Admission: FREE

For more information: http://shaperomodern.com/

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