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Simon de Pury announces new artist studio exhibition: Microcosm by Henry Hudson
Sean Scully, Henry Hudson, UV print on slate tiles, 200 x 150cm.

LONDON.- The Swiss art dealer and internationally renowned auctioneer announced his latest venture, a new exhibition series titled de PURY presents… collaborating with international artists to stage exhibitions from their own studios. The first exhibition de PURY presents Microcosm by Henry Hudson launched on 1 June – 31 July 2021 with the London-based artist, Henry Hudson. Hudson presents a new series of portraits, begun in 2019, of leading art world figures including Ai Weiwei, Ed Ruscha, Rashid Johnson, Sean Scully and others.

Hudson has long had a diverse practice, working across painting, sculpture, ceramics, installation and print-making. These new works represent how his practice extends into the digital realm using the iPad, scanners and UV printers to inform his contemporary portraiture. For the series, Hudson takes a photo and draws a portrait of his sitters on an iPad, which is then printed via a UV Flatbed printer on a selected medium tailored to the individual’s background. With Sean Scully’s portrait the artist has printed it on slate making reference to Scully’s Irish heritage, similarly Ai Weiwei’s portrait is printed on dried petals hinting at the artist’s famous Sunflower Seeds installation at the Tate Modern in 2010.

Simon de Pury comments: While in Dallas together, Henry Hudson did a quick portrait of me on his iPad. When he shared it with me on Whatsapp a few hours later, it sparked in me the idea for the Microcosm exhibition, featuring a series of portraits of friends from the art world. I found myself reflecting on how few artists today are making portraits, particularly those who would take commissions, just as Andy Warhol started doing in the 1970s.Henry Hudson is a very talented artist. I admire his jungle pictures done in plasticine and the ceramics he does together with his brother Richard Hudson. His portraits are a great additional strand in his varied artistic practice. I love the way he uses the most up to date technological advances to create unique, highly physical works.

Henry Hudson comments: Artists used to go to court to paint the intellectual, noble, political, royal and those who influence and shape our world. Today with our iPhones and iPads I was able to go to some of the artists, dealers and collectors who shape our culture. Artists have painted other peoples portraits for centuries. What marks this body of work different to those in the past is the use of technology. This is in every aspect as contemporary a portraiture exhibition as you can get. The iPad portraits flat bed printed onto various materials fit in between the world of the NFTs and printmaking. There are very few ways to translate a digital painting or image into a physical unique one off art work or object. Traditionally due to the nature of a digital work it ends up as editions onto paper or tapestries. By using the UV flat bed printer I have been able to merge the digital onto a physical object making the portrait totally unique with no blockchain needed.

Microcosm by Henry Hudson will initially launch on de Pury’s influential Instagram account, followed by an online viewing room on de Pury’s website. Physical exhibitions will also be staged in the artist’s studio by appointment. A limited number of exclusive new portrait commissions will be accepted following this series. There will also be 30 limited edition prints available to purchase from the exhibition.

As structures of exhibition-making and art sales continuously evolve, accelerated by new technologies and unprecedented collaborations, de PURY foregrounds a new model of presenting and selling work to support artists.

Henry Hudson (1982) is a British artist who works across painting, sculpture, ceramics, installation and printing-making. Hudson’s critical practice is expressed through the exploration of various techniques and materials, including ceramics, plasticine, scagliola, oil painting, 3D printing, wax, sand and textiles. The work extends into the digital realm using the iPad, scanners and uv printers that inform his contemporary portraiture, iPad dreams and hysteria works, which are playfully concerned with the public and the private, outrage and reaction, as well as robotic prosthesis and questions of authorship and legacy. Hudson’s work is inspired by a multitude of sources new and old in which British art plays a formative role. Within the contemporary pastels and digital neon colours of his plasticine Jungle series and wax Snowscapes, there is a sense of Anselm Kiefer’s biblical darkness, mirroring the exploration of the human condition in the tradition of van Gogh’s dichotomy between interior and exterior landscape. Mental health orbits through his oeuvre in both the subject matter, mark making and its material richness, speaking of physical production and the therapeutic aspects inherently implied therein.

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