Lucid Dreaming: Simon Gouverneur, Jason Hughes, Paul Laffoley


A group exhibition entitled Lucid Dreaming opened Saturday, January 17th at Curator’s Office. The exhibition includes works from the Estate of critically acclaimed abstract symbolist painter Simon Gouverneur, who pursued a lifelong investigation into the structures of language and meaning. His work invokes a wide range of ideas–from the principles of structural anthropology espoused by Claude Levi-Strauss to the teachings of Jewish mysticism, Buddhist texts and linguistic theories.

Also in the show are works from brilliant architect Paul Laffoley, who is reputed to have created over 800 works, mixing precise technical work with philosophical ideologies from ancient times to the present. Laffoley has described his work as blending the purely rational, Apollonian impulse with a more emotional, Dionysian stances.

Jason Hughes, who is directly influenced by both Laffoley and Gouverneur, will also be exhibiting his works. His iconic works appear like objects designed to inspire higher consciousness or serve as the focus of meditation.

The exhibition interestingly situates the artist’s conceptual framework around lucid dreaming, a dream stage in which the person is fully aware they are dreaming while the dream is in progress, without waking up. In this stage, the dreamer can act and create as they would in reality, though with limitless capability and imagination, a sort of moving painting. To reflect the continuing visionary tradition in modern and contemporary art, each of these artists attempts to harness this realm of a waking dream-state as part of their practice.

Through obtuse, and irrational visual logic, each artist creates a kind of mesmerizing mandalic emblem. These symbolic structures and tandototems attempt to organize and stratify consciousness itself.

Artists from top to bottom: Simon Gouverneur, Paul Laffoley, Jason Hughes