Shara Hughes / Lucy Teasdale

If you're a Mess, I'm a Mess / My Best Side

20.11 – 16.01.2010

In her exhibition If you're a Mess, I'm a Mess, New York artist Shara Hughes (b. 1981) uses various materials on canvas to create imagined interior and exterior spaces. The title can be seen as a reference to the artist’s own creativity brewing in a tempest of ideas. But how exactly does this virtual explosion of imagery make it to the canvas? One of Hughes’s major concerns in painting is the depiction of varied textures and objects. With the help of glitter glue pens, spray paint, sequins, crayons and an ordinary paint brush, Shara Hughes touches on the essence of things like wood, metal, carpet and water, rendering her subject matter both clear as day and highly tactile.


Hughes’s paintings pulsate with life, defying the laws of logic and perspective. Time after time, the spectator is confronted by a swirling interplay of objects from the material world, which seem to either break loose from physical space, shoot right through it or unabashedly squash it altogether. In “I’m tired, harbor me”, we find ourselves desperately in search of an anchor, our vision clinging for dear life to a fallen mast, a shard of glass, a toppled chair or whatever it can find.


While Shara Hughes transposes and compresses ordinary three-dimensional objects, Lucy Teasdale (b. 1983) does just the opposite. To what extent is her exhibition’s title My Best Side a comment on the nature of sculpture? Can the medium really be seen as having a “best side?” Resonating with life, Teasdale’s sculptures look like distorted wax figures – petrified and rendered unable to move.


Based on drawings, her sculptures emerge as abstract three-dimensional forms that communicate in their own language. The artist casts her sculptures using various synthetics and then colors them in a uniform tone. Often untitled, Teasdale’s pieces leave considerable room for interpretation despite their origins in fixed and concrete imagery.


Lucy Teasdale turns to both everyday life and art history for inspiration. Her first exhibition at Galerie Mikael Andersen marks her debut in bronze sculpture, the piece itself recalling a traditional Japanese woodcut. Lucy Teasdale lives and works in Düsseldorf.