Hugh Byrne (1983- )

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Bio

Hugh Byrne (1983 - ) is a non-figurative visual artist, utilising colour, structure, and composition to achieve an overall sense of experimentation. Byrne relies on gut intuition and curiosity to establish a balance between spontaneity and discipline. Drawing on his studio space, tools, materials, as well as previous artworks as a direct stimulus for the development of new work, his compositions are a response to his environment.

Seams, staples, or stretcher bars are left visible in Byrne’s work to allow insight into the process and shine a light on structural elements that are usually hidden. The artist wants the construction process to be both obvious and questioning; creating an opportunity for the viewer to be invited in, but not all the way. When making his work, he is conscious of the viewer's relationship and interaction with it.

Making use of what’s at hand means that general studio detritus often gets integrated, resulting in work that sways between painting, assemblages, and sculpture. At times more attention is given to the frame than what it’s framing; exploring the idea of what constitutes a painting. The artworks become objects, hard-won through the process of making.

'Colour and structure are divisible as ideas but in Byrne’s paintings they are also joyously enmeshed: colour is structure. This is true throughout his inventive body of work. In his earlier works, Byrne often painted with a mapmaker’s sense of boundaries. So he stacked his colours like blocks or overlapped them as if making a collage, but he never caused them to mingle. The boundary prevailed. To a degree, this method and understanding persists in his new work. Over time, though, Byrne has allowed himself to paint in a looser and messier style.’ - Sean O’Toole

Byrne completed his degree in Fine Arts at the University of Pretoria, graduating with honours, and is currently based in his home city of Cape Town, South Africa.

Exhibitions

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2023
Investec Cape Town Art Fair, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa

2022
‘Quick on Your Feet, EBONY/CURATED, Franschhoek, South Africa

2020
‘All Things Considered’, Lumisol, Munich, Germany
‘In Chorus’, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa

2018
‘Destabilising the Object’, EBONY/CURATED, Franschhoek, South Africa
‘Point And Line’, Barnard Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2017
‘Tipping Point’, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa
‘Flipside’, Warren Editions, Cape Town, South Africa
Turbine Art Fair, EBONY/CURATED, Johannesburg, South Africa

2016
Turbine Art Fair, EBONY/CURATED, Johannesburg, South Africa

2015
‘Tattarrattat’, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2024 Investec Cape Town Art Fair, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa

2023
Untitled Art Miami Beach, EBONY/CURATED, Miami, United States of America
'AKAA (Also Known As Africa)’, EBONY/CURATED, Paris, France
'Norval Foundation’s 6th Collectors’ Focus: The Kilbourn Collection', Norval Foundation, Cape Town
Expo Chicago, EBONY/CURATED, Chicago, United States of America
'Room With a View', Curated by Karen Elkington, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa

2022
‘Thresholds’, Sessions, Cape Town, South Africa
AAGA annual African Galleries Now online edition powered by Artsy, Africa
Investec Cape Town Art Fair, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa
‘Summer Group Show’, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa

2021
‘A Very Loop Street Summer’, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa
‘8X8’, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa
Investec Cape Town Art Fair (online), EBONY/CURATED, South Africa
1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, New York, United States of America
‘In [the] Loop, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa
‘Colors of Abstraction’, 193 Gallery, Paris, France

2020
FNB Art Joburg, EBONY/CURATED, Johannesburg, South Africa
‘Homework’, Barnard Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
‘All Things Considered’, EBONY/CURATED, Bascule Bridge House, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa
Investec Cape Town Art Fair, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa

2019
'AKAA (Also Known As Africa)’, EBONY/CURATED, Paris, France
Investec Cape Town Art Fair, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa
‘Barnard Collective’, Barnard Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2018
‘nano 1.2-’, Barnard Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2017
‘From The Horses Mouth’, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa
‘Summer Exhibition’, Barnard Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
Turbine Art Fair, EBONY/CURATED, Johannesburg, South Africa

2016
‘Abstracted’, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa
‘nano-’, Barnard Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
THAT Art Fair, Cape Town, South Africa
‘Summer Exhibition’, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa

2015
‘In Collaboration With’, THAT Art Fair, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa
‘Landscapes’, EBONY/CURATED, Franschhoek, South Africa
‘Group Show’, Literary Festival, EBONY/CURATED, Franschhoek, South Africa

2014
‘Emergence’, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa
‘Group Show’, EBONY/CURATED, Franschhoek, South Africa
‘Group Show’, Youngblood Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2013
‘New Works’, Haas Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
‘The Editions Show’, Salon 91, Cape Town, South Africa
‘One in a Million’, Salon 91, Cape Town, South Africa
‘Group Show’, Youngblood Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2012
‘First Thursday’, Divine Room New Heritage Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
‘Conditions’, White River Gallery, Nelspruit, South Africa
‘I’d Rather Be Swimming’, Salon 91, Cape Town, South Africa
‘Industrial Abstractions’, The Factory, Durban, South Africa
‘Expression Sunset’, Salon 91, Cape Town, South Africa
‘Shedding Skins’, ELE Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2010
‘Discovered City’, Mahe Xin, Taipei, Taiwan

2006
‘Abstraction in Colour’, SideCafé, Pretoria, South Africa

COLLECTIONS
Kilbourn Collection, Cape Town, South Africa

Works by Hugh Byrne (1983- )

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