Threads to Abstraction: the Pre-Columbian Andean Textiles
Founded in 1983 by Paul Hughes, Paul Hughes Fine Arts focuses on the arts in ancient times, the cohesive effect they had on society’s then and in bringing those values back into the arts of today. With a firm belief in visual arts as a means to communicate the finer aspects of life from past into the present, Paul Hughes Fine Arts presents the Andean Pre-columbian textiles to you, the threads that link and aesthetic kinship of the ancient craftsmanship and the modern arts.
“All art was once contemporary,” as Paul Hughes himself believes. The textile arts of the ancient Andes are one of the most important contributions to the worlds artist legacy. Combined with a technical virtuosity that’s hardly surpassed, these artists were deeply aware of their reciprocal relationship with nature and their gods as cosmic forces. The heavenly world and the earthly world are at their call. The Andeans believed that a divine response to their invocations was contingent upon a display of respect and veneration by mortals. It is for this reason that such exquisite textiles, glowing with luminescent colours and vibrant designs, radiate a profound faith and an exquisite transcendental sense of unique splendour.
- 1973 – 1976: Studied knitwear design, Antwerp
- 1976 – 1979: Founder and knitwear designer of Cachaca (later Liberated Lady) shop, Kings Road, London
- 1979 – 1980: Sold knitwear business and travelled extensively in Latin America and Africa; Studied and collected ethnic textiles.
- 1980, opened his own textile gallery in New York, relocating to San Francisco in 1981.
- 1980 – 1983: Studied textile collections at Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, New York, Brooklyn Museum, Washington Textile Museum and V & A, London, whilst served an internship handling conservation co-ordination and customer service at Artweave Textile Gallery, New York.
- 1983 - 1996: Founder and proprietor of the Paul Hughes Gallery, London, specializing in Andean Pre-Columbian textiles and Japanese design
- 1993 – Onwards: Organised several cultural projects and consultant works for Chinese cultural institutions
Paul Hughes Fine Arts
Projects and Exhibitions History, 1989 – 1996:
- Pre- Columbian Andean Textile Art, 2'000 Years of Andean Textile Art
- European Textiles 15th -20th Century
- Kuba Raffia Textiles for Zaire
- 17th Century English Embroideries
- Textiles of Africa and Pre-Columbian and Coptic Textiles
- All held at Paul Hughes Gallery, London
Exhibitions co-coordinated and curated, 1989 - present:
- Pre-Columbian Textile Art (Graz Austria, 1989)
- Pre-Columbian Textile Art(Milan, Italy, 1991)
- Tiger Rugs of Tibet (Milan, 1992)
- African Majesty (Antwerp, Belgium, 1992)
- Gilbert and George exhibition, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, 1993
- Rediscovery of Pre-Columbian textiles (Anwerp, 1993)
- Time Warps (Sammlung, Hauser & Wirth, Zurich, Gallerie Asbek
- Copenhagen, Le Monde d'Art, Paris, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York all in 1995)
- Andean Textile Art (Kasmin Gallery, New York & Kohseki, Japan, 1996)
- Resonance (Gordon Reece Gallery, London, 1998)
- Feather Light - Mid-Century Furniture and Andean Feather Textiles (Olympia, London, 1998)
- Love Art Shanghai 2003 (Public sculpture exhibition, Henry Moore, Robert Indiana, Sarah Lucas, Andy Warhol)
- China Chair Project, Beijing, Art Basel Miami, 2007
- Frieze Masters (2017)
- Geometric American (Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, 2018)
- Frieze Masers (2018)
Publications and Exhibition Catalogues:
- Hughes, Paul. Pre-colombian Andean Textile Art: Ancient Andean Textile Art, 1200 Bc - 1500 Ad . Milano: Carla Sozzani, 1991. Print
- Gilbert & George. 1993. Gilbert & George: China exhibition 1993. [London]: Gilbert & George
- " Hughes, Paul. Time Warps: Ancient Andean Textiles . London: Fine Textile Art, 1995. Print
- Rediscovery of pre-Columbian Textiles", Lamandart Editors, Antwerp, 1994. Hughes, Paul. 1995. Time warps: ancient Andean textiles. London: Fine Textile Art
- “Love Art” Zendai Group in collaboration with Shanghai TV. 2003
Paul Hughes Fine Arts had also been entrusted with the estate of Shiro Kuramata which we have handled exclusively from 1988 – 1998.