Harmonious and surreal, Shara Hughes’s Swamp Things provides a glimpse into the artist’s early career presenting a dreamlike landscape as an exterior world that falls short of reality. Compositionally unique, the present lot is set in a shallow reservoir, accompanied by an abundant amount of vegetation swaying gently in the breeze in free motion. Showcasing dynamic mark making and an array of kaleidoscopic hues, Hughes’s flamboyant and recognizable landscape paintings commands the audience’s attention, earning her a newfound status during her inclusion in the 2017 Whitney Biennial. The animated scenery demonstrates Hughes’s remarkable ability to inject a fresh take on how one would perceive today’s Contemporary landscape painting, blurring the fine line between abstraction and surrealism. Whilst echoing the creations by the likes of British artist David Hockney, Hughes populates her canvas with distinctive mark making, inviting viewers into a world of psychological and illusional phenomenon.

The year 2015 marks Hughes’ progression from painting interiors to landscapes. By introducing a fresh and colourful palette, Hughes notes “Landscapes opened a whole new world for me, one that was awesome and exciting… All landscapes are constantly changing, whether it’s the time of day or the temperature or the weather patterns and things growing and dying. The constant state of change created so much possibility.” (Shara Hughes in Katie White, "Landscapes Opened a Whole New World for Me’: Artist Shara Hughes on How She Subverts the Tradition of Flower Painting", Artnet News, 17 August 2020,). Landscape allowed Hughes to refer and explore works within an art history context, narrating a new layer of complexity. A serene shot into the natural landscape, Swamp Things encourages the viewer to embark on a journey into the mystic.

莎拉.休斯的《沼澤事物》和諧而超現實,讓我們一窺其藝術生涯早期的風格。畫面呈示的風景如夢似幻,與現實世界隔著一步之遙。本作構圖獨特,以一個淺水塘作為場景,圍繞在旁邊茂盛的各種植物,輕柔地在微風中搖曳,渾然自若。休斯的風景畫筆觸靈巧、色彩萬變, 令觀者深深著迷,讓她在2017年惠特尼雙年展中備受讚賞。本作的生動景緻,揭示了休斯非凡的才華——她能讓觀眾以嶄新的視角觀賞現代的風景畫作,令抽象與超現實主義之間的微妙界線變得更加模糊。休斯的作品令人聯想起英國畫家大衛.霍克尼的創作,然而她的筆觸卻不失獨特風格,引領觀者走進一個充滿心理張力和虛幻情境的藝術世界。

2015年,休斯的主要題材由室內空間轉為風景。她採用鮮活多變的色調,並如此說:「風景畫讓我進入了一個嶄新的世界,奇妙而又令人興奮…… 時間、溫度、氣候、枯榮…自然風景總是不斷變化,隨著這個狀態而來的是許多的可能性」(莎拉.休斯,引述自凱蒂.懷特,〈風景畫讓我進入了嶄新的世界:藝術家莎拉.休斯談論她如何顛覆花卉畫的傳統〉,《Artnet新聞》,2020年8月17日)。藉著風景畫,休斯引用歷史上的許多藝術作品,探索不同概念,作出新的詮釋。《沼澤事物》呈現平和靜謐的自然景觀,鼓勵觀者走進未知的境地。