Three Fluctuations in Contrary Rhythm (Part III)

James Hugonin (1950 - )



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  • About the work
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    In ‘Three Fluctuations in Contrary Rhythm (Part III)’, one of a set of three prints by James Hugonin, multiple tiny blocks of colour arranged in rows, create flickers of colour that appear to move across each composition. A deliberate colour notation dictates the production of each print. Each grid is carefully coordinated – one predominantly pale pink, one yellow and one blue. Hugonin sets out the order in which the prints should be displayed, as if directing different parts of a musical score. Like musical notes, each block of colour alters slightly from the next, building up to a rhythmic whole composition.

    Describing his works, Hugonin comments that he wanted to create a sense of ‘an all-over shimmer’. They reflect the mutability of light as he perceives it in and around his studio in Northumberland. Transitory in nature, these are meditative works with an understated clarity. As Michael Harrison, former Director of Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge once observed:

    ‘… the paintings carry with them that pace, that slowness, that sense of time. They ask us to slow down, and to look, and to settle as we would to listen to a piece of music, allowing time to take effect - to acknowledge that, for all their quietness and stillness, our relationship to them is one of continual change.’

    James Hugonin was born in Barnard Castle, County Durham. In the 1970s, he studied at Winchester School of Art, West Surrey College of Art and Design and Chelsea College of Art. He has taught at Chelsea College of Art and is an Associate Professor at University of Northumbria, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 

    Solo exhibitions of the artist’s work include James Hugonin & Howard Skempton, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh (2007); De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea (2006); Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, (2002) and Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (1996). As part of the exhibition at the De La Warr Pavilion in 2006, Hugonin’s painting, ‘Untitled (XV)’ was presented alongside Pavilion, a composition for piano, viola and clarinet, by celebrated composer Howard Skempton. In 2009–2010, the film, ‘A Year in the Making: Untitled (XVIII)’, investigated the process behind Hugonin’s working practice.

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    Three Fluctuations in Contrary Rhythm (Part III)
    height: 97.70 cm, width: 83.70 cm
    Purchased from Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, December 2009, for display in the British Embassy and UK Representation to the EU building, Brussels, Belgium
    below image: 10/45 Contrary Rhythm III / James Hugonin 2009
    Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh
    GAC number