Hugo McCloud: translated memories

1700 S Santa Fe Ave #101, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Nov 20, 1 PM - 4 PM — ends Jan 08, 2022
Vielmetter Los Angeles is excited to present Hugo McCloud’s second exhibition with the gallery, “translated memories”, featuring a suite of new flower paintings made of single-use plastic bags with artist-made frames.

Over the last year, McCloud began a series of flower paintings as a strategy to maintain calm and focus during the pandemic – some bouquets in vases and others cropped close-ups of singular flowers. Continuing his exploration of plastic bags as raw materials, McCloud’s new paintings exhibit skillful expertise in manipulating the
plastic to transform it into texturally rich swaths of color, creating complex and visually stunning forms.

Through his daily studio practice, the paintings began to reveal biographical connections and take on meaning beyond their physical forms. Coming from a culturally mixed background, McCloud grew up with artists on both sides of his family. On his mother’s European side, his uncle Michele Cascella was a successful painter who
painted many floral still lives, and his father, from Houston, was a sculptor who made works out of found materials, often from non-traditional industrial sources. McCloud’s flowers coalesce these two sides and sensibilities. Some of the flowers reference specific works by Cascella and the hand-carved frames nod to his father’s practice. As such the flowers act as translated memories of his upbringing and exposure to different artistic practices and offer a common ground to challenge Eurocentric traditions of painting.

McCloud’s flower paintings, like traditional floral still-lives, offer a meditative viewing experience. The unique forms and their repetition speak to the passage of time and changing of seasons. As the world seemed in many ways to slow down, McCloud’s flowers sustain this stillness and ruminate on the poetic qualities of the flowers
and their temporality contrasting with the materials they are made of. Using the non-biodegradable plastic to conjure natural forms, McCloud’s works also push the viewer to consider contradictions present in contemporary society relating to industrialization and the natural world.

McCloud (b. 1980, Palo Alto, CA) has had solo exhibitions at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, The Arts Club, London and Fondazione 107, in Turin, Italy. He has also been featured in group exhibitions at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, and The Drawing Center, New York. His work is in
the collections of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of the Arts, The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, the Brooklyn Museum, the Mott Warsh Collection, and The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection.