Patrick Hughes

Patrick Hughes is an artist known for the creation of reverspective, which is an optical illusion of a three-dimensional surface in which the various parts of the image appear farthest away when they are actually physically at the nearest point. This optical illusion is possible by painting a view in reverse. Hughes was born in Birmingham, Britain.

After graduating from Graham Day College in Leeds, he began to teach at the Leeds College of Art. Eventually, he left that position to become an independent artist. Many of the early works produced by Hughes were somewhat playful in nature. He frequently positioned objects back to front in these works, such as Clown. In other cases, Hughes positioned words against images in his works. An example of this can be seen in One Two. Hughes also developed an interest in exploring oxymorons and paradoxes in his works. He began to experiment with the perception of perspective and illusion in the early 1960s. During the 1970s, Hughes presented his investigations regarding illusion and perception in a series of paintings and prints involving a rainbow motif. Such works included Pile of Rainbows and Prison Rainbow. He later produced prints that expressed many of the same interests with color, including Leaf Art.

The first work Hughes produced that reflected his creation of reverspective was Sticking Out Broom in 1964. He once again explored this concept with Up the Line in 1990. Since that time, his reverspective works have been shown in New York, London, Seoul, Santa Monica, Toronto, Munich, and Chicago. Hughes’s work has been influenced by surrealistic themes, absurdist theatre, and comics. In particular, Hughes has been influenced by Surrealists Giorgio de Chirico, René Magritte, and Marcel Marien. Hughes held two exhibitions in 2011. He has written four books focusing on themes related to his art. Hughes currently lives in London.


Birmingham Museums and Art Galleries

Denver Art Museum

Glasgow Museum and Art Gallery

Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Wisconsin

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, North Carolina

Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery

The Lousiana Museum, Denmark

Victoria and Albert Museum

Würth Museum, Germany