James Hugonin

Nominated By: Matthew Hearn, Writer and Curator
Region: North East

James Hugonin, Image courtesy Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh. Photograph: John McKenzie

Hugonin has made a significant contribution to British abstract painting over the last 25 years. His paintings contain thousands of coloured marks in elliptical and oval forms that oscillate and fluctuate within a very fine linear grid.

Each of the four large paintings on display in the Northern Art Prize exhibition is made up of over 55,000 individual marks and each one has taken up to a year to make. These meticulously detailed gesso primed panels reflect Hugonin’s highly disciplined and ordered method  of working.

These are deeply subtle paintings with an understated clarity and they confront a more hedonistic sensibility that wants everything at once, all in one go. Hugonin’s paintings ask us to slow down, to look and spend time with them as we might with a piece of music, allowing time to take effect.

James Hugonin was born in 1950 and since 1986 has lived and worked in Northumberland. He graduated with an MFA in Painting from Chelsea School of Art (1974-1975). He has had solo shows at Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh (2010); De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill (2006); BALTIC, Gateshead (2006) and Kettle’s Yard Gallery, Cambridge (1996). In 2011 Hugonin was jointly awarded The ACE Award for Art in a Religious Context for his stained glass window work Contrary Rhythm at St John’s Church, Healey, Northumberland. He was an invited artist at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and was nominated for the Charles Wollaston Award. His works are in the collections of Tate, Arts Council England, Government Art Collection and Victoria and Albert Museum. He is represented by Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh.

Images courtesy of Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh. Photographs of work: John McKenzie. Photographs of Northern Art Prize exhibition: Simon Warner and David Lindsay.