A cross generational show by the Hudson family displaying their affinity with the natural world across paintings, sculpture and other mediums. The results speak to a sense of place and culture that recalls English artistic appreciations of the elemental country across the last century. With a large variation in size and approach that the works feel unified signifies something deeper, maybe essential.
Also it’s at Claridge’s Artspace which is quite English in its own right.
Claridge’s ArtSpace is proud to announce THE HUDSONS, Family Ties, a multidisciplinary, intergenerational exhibition of work by Richard, Richard WM and Henry Hudson. Curated by Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst, the exhibition brings together these three British artists – father and sons – to be shown together for the very first time.
In all their work, they are united in their deep understanding and fascination of nature and natural forms. Their artistic practices all began to evolve at a similar time, though in remarkably different directions, incorporating a variety of mediums and processes. Yet, crucially, all connect strongly with the intricate and complex materiality of their mediums, involving physical processes that work earthen materials with clay, plasticine, scagliola and wood.
From the elder Richard’s large-scale stainless-steel sculptures to Henry’s tactile mixed media works, and Richard WM’s distinctive pieces made from natural foraged materials, the works are studied, thoughtful reflections borne fundamentally from the artists’ formative time living on a farm. With the elder Richard a farmer prior to his shift into design and art, alongside more formal art education at
school the boys would spend long periods of time with him, examining the intricacies of the nature by which they were constantly surrounded.
The arresting forms of the elder Richard’s sculptures are at once both abstract and strangely familiar, inspired by the micro and macro elements within nature and space. Drawing inspiration from sculptors such as Henry Moore, Jean Arp and Constantin Brancusi, his refined yet organic work explores the canon of Western sculpture and changing approaches to beauty. While he works in small scale in his studio, first sculpting maquettes in plaster and clay, his monumental works are also cast in bronze, sculpted in marble, or, as is most often, produced in monumental stainless steel. These polished, smooth and sensuous forms then sit back within the landscapes that inspired them, using their reflective surfaces to mirror the earth’s endless beauty.
Henry’s practice is renowned for his richly textured, fantastical jungle scenes, in which his ‘paintings’ are painstakingly sculpted with plasticine. For his newer works, however, presented in this exhibition, he employs a distinctive new process, using scagliola, a fine plaster and glue used predominantly in 17th Century Italy. Working upside down on glass, he eliminates the prospect of predefining the final result with his previous precision, leaving his subject matter alone to influence this in a game of chance, or serendipity. Inspired by the reflections on the River Thames seen during his Covid walks, and latterly other reflective landscapes, the works are quietly contemplative, becoming like silky abstractions which embody the spirit of the water they reflect.
Richard WM combines various media in his work, often incorporating clay with wood or stone. While more classically trained as a ceramicist, in recent years his work has become increasingly charged, touching upon poignant themes such as nature’s own destructive power and the emergence of new growth. Finding both inspiration and materials within nature, he often forages in the forest, finding pieces of wood which he burns to expose their core structures. The results are haunting, beautiful testimonies to the fragile beauty of our ecosystem.
Throughout the exhibition, the work of these three artists presents an ongoing, fluctuating meditation on nature – in all its forms, in both its strength and vulnerability, as well as our own relationship with it. Nature is painted as a physical space for solace and sanctuary but also as a mirror through which to consider the various perspectives of our ‘human’ fields – of not only art, but also anthropology, psychology and philosophy.
Coinciding with THE HUDSONS, Family Ties in Claridge’s ArtSpace will be an installation of works throughout the iconic Claridge’s hotel lobby from British contemporary sculptor Richard Hudson. These include a large-scale Tearwork of polished mirrored steel weighing 240kg and measuring two metres in height. Visitors to the hotel will also see new editions alongside the lobby columns of Held and Twice.
About Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst
Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst is the Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Superblue, a company she created in 2020 in response to the astonishing shift to which artists are embracing immersive technologies and non-traditional exhibition spaces to reach broad audiences. As CCO, Dent- Brocklehurst oversees the long-term vision and development of the company; spearheading its partnerships with artists; curating Superblue’s Experiential Art Centers, external collaborations, and commissions. From the start, her vision for Superblue has been twofold: to develop a ground-breaking infrastructure and business model that can support contemporary artists in ways that the existing art world cannot, and in doing so bringing transformative art experiences to all.
Dent-Brocklehurst began her career at Sotheby’s London and then in New York. It was there that she joined the Gagosian Gallery, becoming Director in 1997. In 1999, Dent-Brocklehurst returned to London to orchestrate the opening of Gagosian’s first London Gallery where she remained the Managing Director until 2008. That year, she worked alongside Dasha Zhukova to found The Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture in Moscow. Parallel to this experience, between 2004 and 2008, Dent-Brocklehurst curated the groundbreaking Reconstruction sculpture project in the grounds of Sudeley Castle, her ancestral home. This project triggered a number of similar exhibitions, such as those at Chatsworth and Blenheim Palace, which brought monumental contemporary sculpture to Grade I listed grounds.
In 2010, she was invited to set up the first branch of Pace Gallery in London, where she was the President from 2012 to 2017. In 2017, she joined the Founder of FutureCity, Mark Davy, in a two-year project named Future/Pace, which pushed contemporary art beyond the boundaries of gallery walls and into the public realm. Future/Pace delivered site-specific contemporary art projects by artists such as Leo Villareal and DRIFT. Today, she is globally recognized for identifying, promoting, and establishing the artistic trends of the future.
About Richard Hudson
Richard Hudson (b. 1954, Yorkshire, UK) is a British sculptor whose organic sculptures are shown internationally and collected widely. Richard began working with sculpture at a relatively late age after many years of traveling. He is best known for his work in polished mirrored steel, bronze and marble with a number of monumental works on public display. His soft lines and voluptuous style is combined with inspiration from great artists such as Henry Moore, Jean Arp and Constantin Brancusi. Richard Hudson has undertaken many prestigious public commissions around the world, including in London, New York, Dubai, Istanbul, Vancouver, Mexico and Taipei, as well as on several occasions as part of Sotheby’s Chatsworth House and Thirsk Hall Sculpture Park. His work has been shown by galleries globally and in major art fairs around the world, including: TEFAF (Maastricht, The Netherlands); Masterpiece, PAD and Art14 (London, UK); ARCO and Art Madrid (Madrid, Spain); The Armory (New York, USA); Expo ChicagO (Chicago, USA); Dallas Art Fair (Dallas, USA); Art Basel Hong Kong and Hong Kong Contemporary Art Fair (Hong Kong); Art Stage Singapore (Singapore); and Abu Dhabi Art and Dubai Art Expo (UAE). His work also exists in prominent private collections globally.
About Richard WM Hudson
Richard WM Hudson (b. 1980, Bath, UK) has been working as a mixed media artist since a young age. He gained awards throughout school and had his work acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum at the age of 16. Richard has also worked as a set, costume and interior designer, having completed a BA in Theatre Design at Central St Martins and an MA in Film Production Design at the National Film
School. Strongly influenced by the decade he spent living in a remote part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, he sources natural foraged materials to create works with a dark, earthy tonality that are also homages to the materials’ original origin. Richard’s woodworks are often carved, scorched, and polished to create pieces with strong prehistoric fossil references. Others are wielded into requiems, statuesque monuments to the glories of death. His ceramics are crafted from natural- coloured raw clays and regularly paired with carefully chosen foraged artefacts. Richard’s sculptures have been exhibited in solo and group shows throughout the UK, including Tristan Hoare Gallery and TJ Boulting in London. He has exhibited abroad, and has participated in charity auctions for Christie’s, both in London and New York. His work also exists in numerous public exhibitions and prominent private collections.
About Henry Hudson
Henry Hudson (b. 1982, Bath, UK) graduated from Central St. Martins and now lives and works in London. A British artist who makes paintings, sculpture, etchings and performance-based work, Hudson is best recognised for his use of plasticine, creating paintings that have a depth and sculptural quality. He softens the plasticine over a hotplate so that it can be manipulated with his fingers. It is then mixed, impastoed thickly on board in several layers of colour, finally sculpted and texturised with biros, paint brushes and other make-shift tools. Henry Hudson has had solo exhibitions at such galleries as Unit Gallery, London; Palo Gallery, New York; Sotheby’s S|2 Gallery, New York; Sotheby’s S|2 Gallery, London; Sir John Soane’s Museum, London; Carl Kostyál Gallery, London; Galerie Isa, Mumbai; Galerie Kandlhofer, Vienna; 20 Hoxton Square Projects, London; TJ Boulting, London; The Fine Art Society, Hong Kong; and F2 Gallery, Beijing. Hudson’s work has been reviewed by such periodicals as LOVE Magazine, The New York Times, The Telegraph Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal and written about by artists and critics including Richard Dorment, Marc Quinn, Cressida Connolly and Nick Foulkes. His work is included in public and private collections including the Zabludowicz Collection, London; The Hiscox Collection, London; Ömer Koç Collection, Istanbul; Marc Quinn Collection, London; Alexander Dellal Collection, London; David Ross Collection, London; and the Collection of Lord and Lady Roussev, London.
THE HUDSONS, Family Ties, 31 January–14 April 2024
Curated by Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst, at Claridge’s ArtSpace
The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. – Aristotle