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Abu Dhabi Art Fair 2023 - Booth A35 - Art Fairs - Sean Kelly Gallery

Image: Hugo McCloud, farm to table, 2023, single use plastic mounted on panel. Framed: 83 ¾ x 71 ¾ x 2 7/8 © Hugo McCloud Courtesy: the artist and Sean Kelly, New York/Los Angeles

Installation Views

Abu Dhabi Art Fair 2023

Press Release

Abu Dhabi Art Fair: Booth A35

Hugo McCloud
Solo Presentation

Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
November 22 - 26, 2023

Sean Kelly is delighted to return to Abu Dhabi with a solo presentation of new works by Hugo McCloud. This selection highlights McCloud’s all-encompassing practice centered on issues concerning geopolitics, migration, the value of labor, concern for the growing disparity among social and racial economics, and the beauty to be found in the everyday.

The booth is anchored by a major work drawing inspiration from McCloud’s recent trip to Abu Dhabi. The artist’s large-scale single-use plastic painting illustrates a solitary stall in the otherwise historic bustling fruit market overflowing with a variety of fresh produce. In his hands, McCloud’s controlled and delicate manipulation of non-traditional and often overlooked multi-colored single use plastic transforms this quotidian material into a rich innovative form of contemporary pigment that gives new life to an object often discarded and ubiquitous in our environment. Continuing McCloud’s interest in the depiction of labor and the life cycle of plastic, this painting is both a vibrant illustration of the foods we consume, and more solemnly a portrait of the people behind the work we often take for granted.

In addition to his large-scale painting, our booth will feature two new flower paintings by McCloud. Implemented as a daily meditative practice during the pandemic, McCloud began a quarantine journal of smaller flower works as a strategy to remain calm and focused during that challenging time. The intimate paintings comprise slivers of colored plastics heated and delicately pressed onto the canvas to form a smooth viscous texture reminiscent of liquid paint as they depict the flower’s petals, leaves and vessel. Referencing traditional floral still-life paintings, McCloud offers viewers a meditative interlude from the bustle of daily life where time stands still. Each painting in this series is titled after the date of its creation, becoming an anthology documenting the artist’s daily life. The calming quality of the flora contrasts with the non-biodegradable materials to offer space for the viewer to contemplate and reflect.

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