Matters of Life and Death is a limited-edition publication documenting the remarkable new and recent paintings of celebrated Dallas-based British artist Richard Patterson (b.1963).
An engaging introduction by Paul Moorhouse, Senior Curator at the National Portrait Gallery, London, discusses the dynamic and complex relationship between figuration and abstraction in Patterson's oeuvre. Moorhouse observes: 'Visual ambiguity defines Patterson's art, and its most conspicuous feature is the interaction between figurative painting, abstraction and photography that his recent work continues. From the outset he moved between these disparate visual languages, combining them in ways that seemed deliberately oppositional and subversive.' Patterson's latest works are as provocative as ever, and as he enters mid-career, have become increasingly accomplished, cryptic and, at times, haunting.
In his illuminating essay, art historian James Cahill explores the subjects of portraiture and personae within the artist's works, asserting that 'his strategy of distancing his figures - whether through a broken veil (or enclosing frame) of abstract paint, or the gauze-like intercession of a photographic source - throws into relief the idea that selfhood is ultimately a succession of masks.'
Curator and critic Jane Neal deftly navigates ideas of gender and sexuality in Patterson's practice, taking us into the realms of fetish and the male gaze, proposing that his painting overtly 'points towards the patriarchal and often misogynistic attitude to women's bodies still prevalent in magazines, films and social media, even in the twenty-first century. Patterson sets us up to confront the darkness that often underlies the male gaze, even affording it physical form.'Featuring a selection of works executed between 2013 and 2016, many of which are published here for the first time, the cloth-covered book is presented in a specially printed hard slipcase and has been published in an edition of just 500 copies. Born in the UK in 1963, Patterson graduated from Goldsmiths College in 1986. He was included in Damien Hirst's renowned Freeze, Surrey Docks, London (1988); as well as Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK; Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum fur Gegenwart, Berlin, Germany; Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, USA (1997-00). Other notable exhibitions include The Rowan Collection: Contemporary British& Irish Art, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland (2002); Painting Pictures, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany (2003); Nexus Texas, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Texas, USA (2007) and Attention to Detail, curated by Chuck Close, the FLAG Art Foundation, New York, USA. Patterson has had solo exhibitions at Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London (1997); James Cohan Gallery, New York, USA (1999 and 2002); Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas, USA (2000), Timothy Taylor Gallery, London (2005, 2008 and 2013); the Goss-Michael Foundation, Dallas, USA (2009); and the FLAG Art Foundation, New York (2014). In February 2017 he will present new and recent works at Timothy Taylor 16x34, New York.
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