Born in Belfast in 1965, Ronnie Hughes studied at the University of Ulster, Belfast, receiving an MA in Fine Art in 1989. One of Ireland’s most dynamic abstract painters, Hughes’ elegant and poised works are executed with complex technical skill, yet retain a lightness of touch. While his finished paintings display a diversity of styles, at heart they share a common concern with the lived experience, and what Hughes has described as “the beauty, the fragility and the violence of being.”
Hughes, who has been based in Sligo since the mid 1990s, has shown widely both in Ireland and the US. Major solo projects over recent years have included exhibitions at Dublin City Gallery; The Hugh Lane, Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast and Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Supernumerary’ at Fenderesky gallery Belfast and ‘Zygotic Tendencies’ presented at Chicago Art Fair and Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles (both projects supported by a Culture Ireland bursary) In 2017 ‘Strange Attractors’, a large survey show of his recent work received a major Arts Council grant to tour the Model Sligo, Limerick City Gallery and the RHA Dublin. The show was accompanied by an extensive publication designed by Atelier and it included texts by Martin Herbert and Joanne Laws. During the tour, NVTV produced a television programme ‘Collapse the Box – Ronnie Hughes’, which featured a 25 minute interview at the RHA.
Hughes’ work has been written about extensively and he has received a multitude of awards including a one-year residency in New York (PS1, 1990-91) and three-month residencies at Banff Arts Center, Canada (1994) and Bemis Arts Center, Nebraska (1997). In 2006 he was awarded both the ‘Irish Artist Fellowship’ - a one-month residency at the Vermont Studio Center and a two-month residency at the ‘Albers Foundation’ in Connecticut.
Hughes’ work is held in many public and corporate collections, including both Irish Arts Councils and the Irish Museum of Modern Art.
Hughes has previously shown with Gibbons and Nicholas at Context Art Miami, Art on Paper, New York and Seattle Art Fair.