Shara Hughes – Pleasure House July 1 – September 21, 2017

Shara Hughes’ Summer House was conceived and created by the artist specifically for the Redwood’s eighteenth-century octagonal “folly” in summer 2017. Curated by Dodie Kazanjian, with whom the artist has worked extensively, Kazanjian describes how: “It cannot be entered, but only viewed by one person at a time, and in that sense it becomes a deeply personal experience.” In the interior space of the summerhouse, Hughes’ painted elements inhabit a sculptural landscape that suggests both something public and theatrical like a stage set, yet also intimates an intensely private world: a dreamscape that is revealed to the viewer who climbs up the stairs to peer inside. Describing her experience of walking the Redwood’s eighteenth-century grounds, especially the long flagstone-paved allée leading to the summer house that was designed by John Russell Pope in 1917 (the architect known for the National Gallery of Art and Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC), Hughes explains: “I kept coming back to the idea of a church and an altarpiece, of walking up to something and having a special experience with it alone.”

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