Twentieth-century art; contemporary art; history of photography
Gordon Hughes specializes in early 20th-Century European modernism, with a particular concentration on French painting. His book,¬†Resisting Abstraction: Robert Delaunay and Vision in the Face of Modernism, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2014. Hughes's primary area of research aims to rethink standard narratives of abstract painting at the point of its inception, with a particular emphasis on French painting. His work on Robert Delaunay has been published in¬†October¬†(Fall 2002),¬†The Art Bulletin¬†(June 2007),¬†Critical Matrix¬†(Fall 2001), and appeared in the¬†catalogue¬†for the exhibition Inventing Abstraction,¬†1910-1925¬†at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He has also published on the paintings and film of Fernand L√©ger and the still-lifes of Georges Braque. In addition to pre-war European art, Hughes also writes on American art of the 1960s, '70s, and '80s. Publications in this area include essays on Douglas Huebler and Jenny Holzer. A recent essay on Roland Barthes and photography, "Camera Lucida Circa 1980," appeared in¬†Palinode: Reflections on Camera Lucida, edited by Geoffrey Batchen (MIT Press, 2009). He also co-edited, with Hal Foster, October Files: Richard Serra (MIT Press, 2000). In 2012-2013 he was a scholar in residence at the Getty Research Institute. His current book project is titled:¬†Seeing Red: Murder, Abstraction, Machines.
Prior to receiving his Ph.D. in art history from Princeton in 2004, Hughes earned a Master degree from the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism at the University of Western Ontario in 1996. His engagement with continental theory continues to inform his writing and thinking about art, although it is always in the service of the primary act of viewing. This concern with close looking orients his approach to teaching, which takes uncovering and describing the vast complexities of artistic form-and the ways in which these complexities intersect with history and theory-as the central problem of art historical investigation.
Originally trained as a visual artist, Hughes received his MFA in studio art from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1992, and his BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1989. He was raised in Carp, Ontario.
‚ÄúHartung‚Äôs Attack,‚ÄĚ in¬†Hans Hartung: 1923-1989¬†(Paris: Perrotin Editions, 2018).
‚ÄúFrancis Picabia, Once Removed,‚ÄĚ in Anne Umland and Catherine Hug, eds.¬†Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction¬†(New York: Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2016). (Translated into French as ‚ÄúFrancis Picabia,¬†au¬†deuxi√®me degr√©‚ÄĚ in¬†Francis Picabia: Notre t√™te est¬†ronde¬†pour¬†permettre¬†√† la pens√©e de changer de direction).
‚ÄúTangled Up in Blue: James Turrell‚Äôs Virtual Vision‚ÄĚ¬†Nonsite¬†18 (January, 2016).
‚ÄúThe Painter‚Äôs Revenge: Fernand L√©ger For and Against Cinema.‚ÄĚ¬†Nonsite¬†6 (October 2012).
‚ÄúBraque‚Äôs Regard.‚ÄĚ In¬†Braque and the Cubist Still Life, 1928-1945, ed. Karen Butler. (New York: Prestel), 2013.¬†Catalogue¬†for exhibition at the Kemper Art Museum and the Phillips Collection.
‚ÄúAbstraction Chez Delaunay.‚ÄĚ In¬†Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925, ed. Leah Dickerman. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2012.
‚ÄúRe: Re.‚ÄĚ In¬†Beyond the Aesthetic and Anti-Aesthetic, ed. James Elkins. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, forthcoming 2012.
‚ÄúExit Ghost: Douglas Huebler‚Äôs Face Value.‚ÄĚ¬†Art History¬†(December 2009). Reprinted in¬†Photography After Conceptual Art, eds. Diarmuid Costello and Margaret Iversen. London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.
‚ÄúCamera Lucida¬†Circa 1980.‚ÄĚ In¬†Palinode: Reflections on Camera Lucida, ed. Geoffrey Batchen. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2009.
‚ÄúGame Face: Douglas Huebler and the Voiding of Photographic Portraiture.‚ÄĚ¬†Art Journal¬†(Winter 2007-2008).
‚ÄúEnvisioning Abstraction: The Simultaneity Robert Delaunay‚Äôs First Disk.‚ÄĚ¬†The Art Bulletin, vol. 89, no. 2, (June 2007).
‚ÄúPower‚Äôs Script: Or, Jenny Holzer‚Äôs Art after ‚ÄėArt After Philosophy.‚Äô‚ÄĚ¬†Oxford Art Journal¬†vol. 29, no. 3 (October 2006).
‚ÄúHal Foster.‚ÄĚ In¬†Art: Key Contemporary Thinkers, eds. Diarmuid Costello and Jonathan Vickery. Oxford: Berg Publishers, 2006.
‚ÄúComing into Sight: Seeing Robert Delaunay‚Äôs Structure of Vision.‚ÄĚ¬†October¬†102 (Fall 2002).
‚ÄúThe Painter of Mental Scenery: Robert Delaunay‚Äôs Sensory Abstraction.‚ÄĚ¬†Critical Matrix¬†12 (Fall 2001).
‚ÄúIn-Graven Images: The Work of Matthew¬†Girson¬†and Mindy Yan Miller.‚ÄĚ¬†New Art Examiner¬†(April 1997).