Patrick Angus, who died of AIDS in 1992 at only the age of 38, belongs to a generation of New York artists – as do Robert Mapplethorpe, Keith Haring and Felix Gonzales-Torres ( see http://lastaddress.org/angus.html ) – whose lives ended abruptly and far too early as a result of being infected with the virus. But while those artists at least were granted to experience their artistic success, this was not the case for Patrick Angus. With his direct and unsparing depictions of the gay underground scene of the New York of the 1980s the artist had difficulties to establish himself on the art market throughout his life. However the relevance of his artistic work finally seems to be recognized. The oeuvre is rediscovered internationally at the moment and starts to receive its deserved appreciation.
With the central concern to show the world he experienced with all its facets in his pictures, Angus created an oeuvre which today forms a unique position in art history. Observations and experiences he made in the 1980s in the strip shows, bars, and bath houses of the gay underground scene in New York were transferred into paintings and drawings with great sensibility and painterly skills. With his compositions, use of color and light, as well as masterful depictions of gesture and body language he captures the atmospheres of his subjects and presents an universal social theme: Independent from the viewer's sex and the sexual orientation Angus mediates the longing of the modern man for love, friendship, and acceptance. This longing is not only noticeable in his subculture pictures but also in his personal and nearly intimate portraits of friends and family. Other than many of his contemporaries Angus also painted Afro-American models. He showed Men in women's clothes (“J.B. In Drag”), approaches between young and old, black and white, and other trans-ethnic connections. That way Angus makes his work a sign of universal tolerance. Especially in our current times – where questions for tolerance and social integration are more topical than ever – this theme presented in Patrick Angus's oeuvre is of major importance.
His great painterly quality can also be seen in his landscape paintings. He understood to capture not only the New York underground scene precisely but also the characteristic of the American province in Arkansas where his parents lived or always sunny California where the artist lived for several years.
The estate of Patrick Angus is represented by Galerie Thomas Fuchs. It is divided into two parts: Works from the property of Douglas Blair Turnbaugh, heir and executor of his estate. These works include paintings and drawings with subjects of the gay life in New York in the 1980s – among them underground venues, strip shows, bars – and portraits of friends and hustlers, who Angus paid for posing nude. Works from the property of the artist's mother, Betty Angus, form the other part. These works show land- and cityscapes, self-portraits and portraits of friends and family, as well as domestic scenes and still-lives.
Especially in the last years Patrick Angus increasingly came to the attention of the art scene and the broad public. Famous Italian newspaper La Stampa wrote a great article about the first and very successful solo-exhibition of Patrick Angus at Galerie Thomas Fuchs early in 2015. About the exhibition in Stuttgart, as well as exhibitions of Patrick Angus in Italy and the USA there were also press reports in Los Angeles Times, Artforum, Stuttgarter Zeitung, and the Italian Men's Vogue. The second exhibition at Galerie Thomas Fuchs – just in fall this year – caused even quite a bigger stir: One of the biggest German art magazines Monopol covered the exhibition in an article of several pages, and Die Zeit – one of Germany's most important newspapers – also brought a great article about Angus, just to name a few.
Famous German publisher Hatje Cantz just released a comprehensive book on Patrick Angus in September. In his contribution the well-known English curator and art critic Mark Gisbourne calls Patrick Angus an artist whose “[...] artistic language and subject matter […] has remained uniquely all his own.”