Malcolm Hughes 1920-1997
Malcolm Hughes was born in Manchester. Following his war service as a radio operator in the Royal Navy he studied art in Manchester at the Regional College of Art, continuing his studies at the Royal College of Art in London. He was initially influenced by British abstract artists of the 1950s, but from the mid-1960s, he began to develop his own constructive idiom, with his first one man show at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London in 1965. He also contributed to the Salon des Realites Nouvelles in Paris.
Hughes taught part-time at the School of Architecture in the Polytechnic of Central London, and at Bath Academy of Art, as well as at the Chelsea School of Art, where John Ernest and Anthony Hill were among his colleagues. In 1969 he co-founded the Systems Group with Jeffrey Steele, organising the Arts Council Systems exhibition of 1972-73. From 1970 he taught at the Slade School of Art, running the Graduate School from 1973 – 1983. He was married to the artist Jean Spencer who was also a member of the Systems Group.
His first one man show with Annely Juda Fine Art was in 1977. According to Stephen Bann, writing in 1988 for Hughes’ one man show at Annely Juda: ‘ Malcolm Hughes differs from most of his colleagues in the concrete and constructive tradition, to the extent that he underlines the ambiguous nature of the painted canvas which is both a physical object and a vehicle of pictorial space .’ Between 1984 and 1989, he became a founding member of a group called Exhibiting Space.... read more