When I last spent time with Richard Patterson, surrounded by his extremely complex and captivating works, it was 2009 in Dallas, when I curated a large show at The Goss-Michael Foundation.
The exhibition was an attempt at presenting a meaningful survey of Patterson’s work, as the British artist had moved and made Dallas his permanent home.
At the time, a large new installation — which even included the artist’s own motorbike — forced me to decamp my office in the need for proper space, while large canvases on loan from the Dallas Museum of Art and U.S. private collectors took center stage in the main gallery.
The star of that show was surely Amy Phelan’s canvas; the Dallas native and New York-based collector sent her infamous portrait by Patterson that depicted her as the most iconic Dallas cheerleader of all time, revealing an early and possibly unsettling fascination by Patterson for everything Texan.
This time around, the exhibition of new works at the recently opened Timothy Taylor 16×43 gallery (a New York outpost in a Chelsea townhouse) feels more intimate and self-reflective.
Smaller works explore the ongoing dialogue between Patterson’s two painterly languages with passages of abstract painting coexisting, and at time conflicting, with more traditional representations in line with the grand tradition of American and European art.
His intimate biographical references, although subtler now, are still informing his narrative as any good old YBA (Young British Artist) would tell you, and his sleek, multi-layered, and extremely sexy surfaces still trick the eye and confuse the senses.
Patterson’s cinematic language, infused by rich pop-culture allusions, was noted by a fellow Brit in New York, actor Richard E. Grant, who engaged in deep conversation with Patterson at the dinner that followed the opening, hosted by yet another quintessential Brit — Tim Taylor. Catch the show at Timothy Taylor’s New York City gallery 16×34, through Sunday, March 12.
Timothy Taylor 16×34, 515 W. 19th St., New York, 212.256.1669.
Photos courtesy Timothy Taylor