“The best abstraction isn’t didactic, it’s experiential.”
When the Southern Californian, abstract painter Patrick Wilson makes a painting he allows the narrative to take care of itself as he plays to his strengths of color and composition.
As he told the Long Beach Post’s Sander Roscoe Wolff “I’m much more interested in 'art that is' than 'art that is about.' I’d rather eat the meal than the menu. I don’t want to tell people what to think, or what I think. I would much rather set up the situation where they can experience these paintings and come away with their own unique take. It’s sort of like a meal. I don’t want to over analyze the meal. I want to consume it, and take great pleasure in it. I want the work to be generous.”
And generous is an apt description to apply to Wilson’s multi-faceted arrangements of squares and rectangles that not only interact within a work but often with the neighboring pieces.
“It takes about six to eight weeks to complete a painting, so I have to work on four or five paintings at once. The other reason that’s important is because ideas can open up in one painting that’s in progress and lead me to rethink how I am working on another painting. That is part of my process that keeps these works evolving. Also, another interesting thing that happens fairly often when I’m working on multiple paintings at the same time is that they tend to become like brothers and sisters or cousins. There are little connections between things, whether its color or proportions, that make them more interesting in a grouping when they are exhibited,” he explained.
This interaction is assisted by the works being geographically specific, as he says “You can see hints of where I live. There’s no doubt about the sensation of light and haze and smog that is so unique to Los Angeles. Many painters and many artists have talked about this in the past. It's all in there. The paintings feel like Southern California. To me, I don’t think these could be made in San Francisco, or in New York. I don’t think they would look the same.”
Wilson’s works also express his reaction to the world of Big Macs & 140 character messages. In the publicity for his 2009 exhibition Slow Food, Wilson said “In a culture obsessed with speed and abbreviation over all else, we are becoming less and less willing to spend time considering anything containing more information than 140 characters. I hope that this new body of work is a counterbalance to that way of thinking; slow, complex, unpredictable and beautiful.”
Wilson has found his niche in the art world and is reveling in the experience. As he has said “It’s a great place to be. I’m thrilled with the way things are currently working out, not only the fact that a number of people are getting to enjoy the work in different venues, in museums and very good galleries, but also that I’m getting to basically live and work in exactly the way I’d always hoped, which is in the studio, full time. I couldn't ask for much more than that. It’s what I love to do, and it’s been that way now for quite a number of years.”
Wilson’s latest exhibition of new paintings is currently on show at New York’s Gallery until the 3rd of July.