There Is No Dark Until Something Shines
Featuring Beth Carter
7 November–29 November 2020

Bronze sculpture of an enormous minotaur which somehow appears not ferocious at all but quite mild by Beth Carter titled "Giant Standing Minotaur II."   Charcoal on paper drawing of a minotaur crouched on the ground with a palm outstretch to a gathering of small animals both predator and prey by Beth Carter titled "Forest of Solitude and Hope." Bronze sculpture of a man wearing a cone as a makeshift beak over his nose and holding up a torn cape as wings by Beth Carter titled "Birdman (with Cloth Wings)." 

HUGO GALERIE is pleased to present There Is No Dark Until Something Shines, a solo exhibition of Beth Carter’s works of mystery, vulnerability, and strength. Her award-winning charcoal drawings and sculptures revive old mythologies and revise them, taking recognizable figures and transforming them into allegorical symbols relevant to contemporary, lived experience.

A deer trophy and bull explode in flowers; the prior’s antlers morph into blooming vines while the latter’s stout stature gives it a decidedly hedge-like silhouette. How lovely, to imagine floral shrubs softly mooing as you stroll past? A man is dressed as a bird with a makeshift beak over his nose and a cape qua wings held by outstretched arms. Is this theater? The next superhero? A charcoal drawing shows a seated minotaur beckoning to a crowd of small animals. Prey and predator alike emerge from the shadows to gather around his offered palm. This must be a dream. Or is it a myth? A prophecy?

Among Carter’s latest pieces is Giant Standing Minotaur II, a reimagining of one of her most coveted and admired works. At over six feet tall (185cm), the sculpture veritably looms. But surprisingly, disarmingly, it lacks ferocity. Carter somehow imbues the proportions and features of a beast with the sensitivity of a lamb. This dichotomy is her tour de force. She is a master of juxtaposition. Carter conveys the allegorical and intimate with each stroke of her hand and leaves every surface raw from human touch. Her sculptures and charcoals are as much a Shakespearean drama as they are the emotional rollercoaster of any particular Wednesday.

Carter is able to finesse this fusion of the symbolic and personal because she is a storyteller. Each artwork is a narrative arc. Each piece is a poetic journey of introspection. Even the title of her exhibition could be a work of microfiction: There Is No Dark Until Something Shines captures the spiritual tenor of her oeuvre. In a world of black and white, Carter delivers a multitude of grey that provides a depth of compassion and an invitation to feel. She is the torch. 

We are in the midst of a pandemic, political duress, and threatened justice—on a global scale. Now is not the time to be stoic. Most artists illustrate a level of empathy. Carter forces us to participate in it. To view her work is to experience oafish grace, brooding tenderness, and triumphant hope. As we continue to navigate the new normal, she urges us to be the weathered man wearing an ad hoc crown. Be the bouquet of bull.

HUGO GALERIE is a fine art gallery in New York City specializing in contemporary figurative painting and sculpture. The gallery represents an international roster of artists working in a variety of media and range of genres. Please direct inquiries to

Giant Standing Minotaur II, bronze, 73″ x 25″ x 24″ (185 x 64 x 61cm)
Forest of Solitude and Hope, charcoal on paper, 46″ x 57″ (117 x 145cm)
Birdman (with Cloth Wings), bronze, 45½” x 40″ x 15″ (108 x 102 x 38cm)