Marlborough Contemporary is pleased to present True Romance, a solo exhibition of new works from the New York-based artist Grear Patterson, which appropriates its title from the cult 1993 film.
Patterson’s mixed media works present stylised sunsets, alongside auditory and visual recreations of the Tony Scott directed picture. The exhibition explores pop-culture, imagery and processes of perception, recurrent motifs of the artist’s output.
Inspired by the visual vernacular of a sunset as an auspicious moment - simultaneously a romantacised ending and yet a promise of new beginnings – the exhibition explores the artist’s interest in celebrations of naiveté, as portrayed within films of this era. Large-scale sunsets created from a variety of found material – including parachutes, boat sails, wedding tablecloths and vinyl – and smaller-scale block colour paper works in purples, pinks, blues, oranges and greens, become a memorialisation of youthful possibility, odyssey and adventure.
The simplicity of the works’ composition further expose Patterson’s interest in the memorialisation of concepts surrounding childhood nostalgia – a common theme throughout his oeuvre. Known also for his ‘Duck Test’ series – Minimalist renditions of smiley faces painted in emulsion on canvas tarpaulin – the exhibition at Marlborough Contemporary similarly juxtaposes ingenuous form with complex discourse.
Passing comment on the idealised tropical aesthetic – a pervasive and evocative motif, particularly within today’s social media-driven landscape – the works also interrogate the concept of aspirational locations, as portrayed through film, photography and popular culture, with particular reference to the United States.
Patterson’s exoticised landscape extends to the gallery itself, with banana trees and hammocks – signifiers of a beach scene – inhabiting the space. The gallery’s largest wall is dedicated to a site-specific sunset rendered in coloured vinyl; the pieces reposition the gallery as its own synthetic recreation of the tropical ideal, whilst providing a location to absorb and interact with the work on display.
A former member of The Still House Group, Grear Patterson was born in 1988 in Redding, Connecticut; USA. He studied at Duke University and the School of Visual Arts in New York before joining The Still House Group in 2009. Solo exhibitions include: Manhattan Beach, Marlborough Broome Street, NY (2015); Seek and Destroy, DEPART Foundation, Los Angeles (2015); Forest Theatre, The American Academy Rome, (2014) and Duck Test, Ellis King, Dublin (2014). He has been included in group shows at Jonathan Viner, London; Sprovieri, London; Total Project Space, Athens; Frank Pictures Gallery, Santa Monica; Steven Kasher Gallery, NY; Galerie Olivier Robert, Paris and the 9th Shanghai Biennale in 2012. The artist lives and works in the Bronx, New York.