Hugh Mendes

Born in Hostert Germany 1955
Lives/Works in London, UK

2001 MA City and Guilds of London Art School
1978 BA Chelsea School of Art

Solo Exhibitions
2015 GUSFORD | los angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA
2014 Galerie BRAUBACHfive, Frankfurt, Germany
Obituaries & Other Works, High House Gallery, Clanfield, UK
2013 D.O.A. | The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful, GUSFORD | los angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Murdock London, London, UK
2012 Obituaries, CHARLIE SMITH london, London, UK
2011 9/10/11, Kenny Schachter / Rove Gallery, London, UK
2009 An Existential Itch, Galerie BRAUBACHfive, Frankfurt, Germany
An Existential Itch, Loading Bay Gallery, London, UK
2008 An Existential Itch 2001-2008 Fishmarket Gallery, Northampton & Loading Bay Gallery, London
2007 Death from Above Sartorial Art Gallery, London

Selected Group Exhibitions
2014 The Great War, CHARLIE SMITH london, London, UK
2013 The Future Can Wait, Victoria House, London, UK
War, Jacob’s Island, London, UK
Six Degrees of Separation, Wimbledon Art Space, London, UK
2012 The End, Jacob’s Island, London, UK
The Future Can Wait, Victoria House, London, UK
The Serpent’s Tail, Witzenhausen Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Polemically Small, Orleans House Gallery, Twickenham, UK
The Perfect Nude, CHARLIE SMITH london, London, UK
On the Horizon: New Generation British Painters, Marine Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA, USA
The Id, the Ego and the Superego, Galerie BRAUBACHfive, Frankfurt, Germany
2009 New London School Galerie Schuster, Berlin
2008 New London School Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles
2007 Still Life, Still T1+2 Gallery, London
2006 New London Kicks Wooster Projects, New York
2005 Fuckin' Brilliant Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo
2004 Art News Three Colts Gallery, London & Raid Projects, Los Angeles

Awards & Residences
2003 Fresh Art 'Artist of the Year'

An Existential Itch Craig Burnett, Fishmarket Publications

Peter Nobel, Zurich
Angela Nikolakopoulou, London
Private Collections in UK, USA, China

Mendes' paintings draw on a combination of the historical notion of the still life and a psycho-geographic embracing of the random and accidental, set within a prescribed framework of world events. By obsessively collecting newspapers, the artist employs daily events by juxtaposing found images and headlines from clippings. Focusing broadly on four categories - the war on terror; the march of science; the artworld; and in particular obituaries - Mendes' increasingly hyper-real renditions become haunting epitaphs for our society. Beginning in 2001, Mendes found a scrap of an Arabic newspaper in Brick Lane from which he acquired source material for a diptych that was scheduled to be exhibited at his MA show, opening September 11th. Positioning a turbaned man aiming a Kalashnikov at George Bush celebrating his electoral victory, complete with cowboy hat, alongside the headline, 'So it's true: Gore really did win Florida', Mendes made an unknowingly poignant painting. As it transpired that the turbaned figure was Osama Bin Laden, a previously unknown but now household name, it became clear that this painting foresaw the ensuing atrocities of 9/11 2001 and the world's consequently newly rendered political landscape. Leading into an extensive series of paintings based on 9/11 and The War on Terror, Mendes went on to make a body of work that documents our turbulent times.
In its totality Mendes' oeuvre reminds us of our macabre preponderance for death, terror and the state of mankind by relentlessly presenting us with modern day 'momento mori'. The transience of ubiquitous headlines and the magnitude of historical events that generate them combine with an uncanny personal history laden with experiences that feed back into the work where war and loss are never far away, thus creating permanence from the ephemeral and personal from the universal. Hugh Mendes lives and works in London. He has shown internationally in New York, Los Angeles, Rome, Naples and Tokyo including exhibitions at Raid Projects, Mark Moore Gallery, Wooster Projects, Changing Role Gallery and Tokyo Wonder Site. He has also exhibited at Hales Gallery, The Rockwell Project, Keith Talent, Jeffrey Charles Gallery, Sartorial Contemporary Art, Three Colts Gallery, Primo Alonso Gallery and The Future Can Wait in London. Mendes also teaches and curates.