Los Angeles based painter Patrick Wilson presents a fresh suite of works at Miles McEnery Gallery – continuing his pursuit of beauty and subtleness through the language of Geometric Abstraction.
Wilson utilizes form, color, and value unapologetically to create dynamic compositions that walk the line between the intensity of structure and the joy of intuition. Elusive in materiality and name-ability of colors employed, Wilson’s paintings demand time, allowing perception to slowly reveal their inner workings.
Viewers often assume, at first glance, that Wilson’s paintings are composed of thin sheets of plastic or metal that have been airbrushed and assembled, but they are in fact composed of fastidiously applied layers of acrylic paint.
He is an immaculate painter, working carefully by hand with tape and a drywall blade to create seamless planes that seem at once solid and transparent, referential to the modernist architecture that dots the Southern California landscape and to the iconic “light and space” artists and West Coast hard edge abstractionists (Larry Bell, Frederic Hammersley, Robert Irwin, John McLaughlin).
The finished paintings are pristine, but also carry evidence of the artist’s hand – a subtle bloom of color along an otherwise flawlessly straight line, a slight whimsy in the corner of a square – always inviting the viewer to slow down and examine their nearly sculptural surfaces.
They are a pleasure to look at, and it is this insistence on the real value of formal beauty as something to be desired, pursued, and considered deeply that defines Wilson’s paintings.
Refusing to control the beholder, Wilson’s paintings allow multiple points of entry, which, given time, move the eye through and across a space that is never knowable but always generous in its offering.
Geometric Abstraction–and the foundational role that the West Coast has played in its history–provides the platform from which Wilson’s practice emerges. In contrast to the often monochromatic and measured coloration of his fore-bearers, Wilson unleashes the full force of color. Tangible in materiality, yet optically ephemeral, Wilson’s layers of precise color masterfully utilize the power of opacity and transparency to transform the space of his paintings.
Regarding Wilson’s color palette, critic and historian Peter Frank remarks: “These colors tend to be unsettling (and, indeed more unsettling when placed next to the occasional ‘normal’ color). They adhere to a beauty laced with toxin, as if mined rather than cultivated–sulfurs, coppers, cadmiums, leads”; an observation that Wilson gladly accepts.
MILES MCENERY GALLERY
Through 09 November 2019