Hugo Dalton

United Kingdom 1978

Painting, Light Art

Hugo Dalton
Hugo Dalton
United Kingdom
March 17, 2016

Hugo Dalton‘s artworks are hard to fathom and even harder to categorize. There’s so much subtlety and lightness in everything he creates – his wall paintings seamlessly blend with the wall itself and his light drawings resemble transparent deep sea creatures peacefully floating in the water. Even though Dalton is a young artist, there’s a liberating sense of peace in his art, somewhat similar to the ancient beauty and wisdom we can find in the zen artistry of the Far East.

Hugo Dalton - Ornamental Jewelweeds (2,3,6), 2014
Hugo Dalton – Ornamental Jewelweeds (2,3,6), 2014

Site-specific Artworks

Hugo Dalton graduated from Goldsmith’s College in 2002 and he was the best student in his class, awarded First Class honors. His teachers quickly recognized his great talent and unique approach to painting directly on the wall. This subcategory of painting is a very old and traditional genre, but Dalton breathed some freshness and light into it. He is a formally educated painter who knows the rules and because of that also possesses a freedom to break them when needed. Even though he’s still following the main guidelines of drawing from life, his approach is more playful, modern and appealing to the contemporary taste in art. The fact that his art is in accordance with modern aesthetics brought him a fulfilling career. He is often hired to paint the walls of public buildings and all of his artworks are site-specific, carefully selected to fit their surroundings. Because of this, public buildings are his largest gallery space. He made many wall paintings for Barneys in New York, Gave House in Hong Kong and also Park Hyatt in Beijing.

Dalton’s soft swirly wall painting releases the tension of the angular minimalist space

Hugo Dalton -Conversation house, 2011
Hugo Dalton – Conversation house, 2011

Sensing the Space

Dalton’s philosophy is simple just like his artworks – he’s trying to fully understand each and every space he’s about to decorate. After years of practice, he became highly proficient in adapting the flow of his ideas to the particular location. Of course, every location represents a new challenge. For example, his latest series of paintings is featuring the nature of Hong Kong and the motif of bamboo is repeatedly used in his simple floral patterns. Dalton’s goal is to let the local sights, smells and textures permeate his heart and mind and get permanently trapped inside his work. Hong Kong has been very inspirational for the artist and this city allowed him to take a leap in the different direction. He became interested in light drawing, a form of art that requires a light projector in order to display the work. Light drawing is a versatile form of art and it can be combined even with non-visual arts, such as music and dance. A great example of that are Live Music Drawing events, where the artists collaborate – a musician is playing some piece, while the visual artist is trying to follow the rhythm of the music with brush or pen strokes.

Hugo Dalton - Avenue of Palms, 2012
Hugo Dalton – Avenue of Palms, 2012

Calm and Order

Dalton’s art is all about inducing the sense of harmony and balance between the architectural elements of a particular location and the lines of a certain artwork. His approach is always gentle and never invasive – almost like a well-trained doctor, he knows how to heal and improve various environments by decorating them the right way, so they open up and appear more wholesome. Dalton’s paintings have a memorable elegance and it’s impossible to mistake him for any other artist, which means his style is quite mature in its distinctiveness.

Hugo Dalton lives and works in London.

Featured image: Hugo Dalton  – Crown of Thorns, 2014
All images copyright of the artist

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015Museum of Musical InstrumentsRCM LondonSolo
2014By the Light of the MoonSlowtrack Gallery MadridSolo
2014Invasive SpeciesJoyce Gallery, BeijingSolo
2013Mother NatureBow Arts Trust, LondonSolo
2012Mother Nature BDSMBow Arts Trust, London Solo
2012Drawing Now Carroussel du Louvre, Paris Group
2012KalliphilliaVegas Gallery, London Group
2012EchoesFine Art Society, London Group
2011Hugo DaltonToday Art Museum, BeijingSolo
2011Recent WorkAM Space, Shanghai Solo
2011Polemically SmallCharlie Smith Gallery, London Group
2011The Future Can WaitBloomsbury Square, London Group
2011British Art NowKCC, LithuaniaGroup
2011The Secret Language of FlowersAndipa Gallery, LondonGroup
2011Signal 8Cat Street Gallery, Hong KongGroup
2010Hugo DaltonHong Kong Art Fair, Hong Kong Group
2010British Art NowGallerie Werkstatte, Berlin Group
2010We Are Not WitchesSaatchi Gallery, London Group
2009CoexistenceCat Street Gallery, Hong KongSolo
2009ShoeboxHaunch of VenisonGroup
2008Light DrawingsFine Art Society, LondonSolo
2008Scope Art FairFine Art Society, London Group
2007London Art FairFine Art Society, London Group
2007White OutFine Art Society, London Group
2007Group Show20 Hoxton Square, London Group
2006Still LifeRossetti Studios, LondonSolo
2006MonochromedFine Art Society, LondonGroup
2005Experimental SpacesMuseum of Hastings, Sussex Group
2004Opening SpaceDosa 818, Los Angeles Group
2004ChaseRoyal College of Art, London Group
2004UthNew Inn Yard Gallery, London Group