Surrealist Art: Objects and Meanings

Patrick Hughes

Patrick Hughes is one of the most inventive visual artists of the 20th century and has exhibited widely. He has devoted a lifetime to studying visual pardoxes and puns. In this sense, he can be seen as continuing with the Surrealist idea of using objects in unlikely situations to shock us out of our complacency or challenge our perceptions of the visual world.

In Hull Paradox, he makes a witty visual and verbal pun on Hullís mainline railway station (Hull Paragon). The paradox of the railway station moving on the line creates exactly the disorientation the surrealists sought, and being devoid of any figures, enhances the dreamlike state in which this impossibiility might occur.

Perhaps more obviously surrealist in intention and form, Perfect Present uses the classic surrealist technique of dislocated object, separated from itís normal surroundings and meanings, placed into a new context to create new meaning. The wrapped rainbow arriving through the post might be an idea that seems fairly simple, but the underlying intention is clearly to question or challenge our use of the rainbow as a romantic symbol.

Document icon Learning article provided by: Ferens Art Gallery, Hull | 
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