Hugh Mendes: Obituaries

Hugh Mendes, Lucian Freud, 25 x 25cm, 2011 (courtesy Charlie Smith Gallery, Lond
Hugh Mendes, Lucian Freud, 25 x 25cm, 2011 (courtesy Charlie Smith Gallery, London)

An essay by Ben Street on Hugh Mendes' Obituary paintings which will be on view at Charlie Smith Gallery, London from February 24 - March 31, 2012.

Street writes that "Mendes' paintings are really only portraits at a remove. Strictly speaking, they're portraits treated as still lifes, paintings of photographic images made distant in the retelling. And the photographs themselves have an implicit distance from their subjects: they're headshots selected for their likeness, or ability to capture the essence of what makes that person worthy of remembrance. A succession of visual choices creates a crowded back-story in any painting by Mendes. Each one bears an important question about an individual’s relationship with the tangible world..."