Galerie Kandlhofer is pleased to present 'Planes & Mountains', an exhibition by American artist Grear Patterson (b. 1988, Redding, CT, USA. Lives and works in New York, NY, USA).
Patterson creates work with the ease and freedom that originates in a utopian reality seen from the perfect uncontaminated view of a childlike mind. His work borrows heavily from ready made asethetics not unlike Warholian pop strategies. The widely recognized paradise imagery seen in aspirational travel posters blended with a sprinkle of aloha dreaming associated with Hawaiian shirts. These idealized landscapes contain elements of purity and evocativeness, and what may seem like nostalgia affords him the chance to escape a complicated presence and embrace a simple past-time of true happiness and invented memory.
Growing up in suburban America Patterson's fascination with the outside world comes in the form of toy planes. These planes take on ambiguous ideas of dreams and nightmares combined with the dichotomies of home and away, and good vs. evil. He references history of art, nostalgia trinkets, and commercialism as much as the energy of youthful dreaming with a thirst for adventure.
Patterson learned how to fly planes with his godfather, an inventor of aviation parts as a means to create comfort and familiarity with the unknown, just like the world and globalisation seem less scary when you put yourself out there. The video piece How to Fly a Plane is a manifestation of his beliefs.
In Blood and Oxygen the image of paradise perfection is subtly obscured by a shadowy wave inspired by Japanese Kaiga and may invoke images of Pearl Harbor, the event that was not supposed to happen, and is forever inked on the memories and fears of the American mind.
Sailing Away is similarly twisted in its portayal of freedom seen in the sailing boat and the bird shaped clouds with the presence of a looming volcano that seems so far away yet stays as a reminder of ever present danger. Taking its place inbetween them is Never too Late to Let Go - a mammoth of love and heart break. The idealization of a world shattered and rebuilt through the resilience of structural integrity.
These large scale works entice the viewer into the world of the American Dream, at the same time mesmerising and challenging. Juxtaposed with a body of smaller works of brilliant colors that sprout with hopefulness for the future this exhibition takes on the red thread from Patterson's earlier work with the gusto that encompasses his entire personality. Hit cruise control and rub your eyes.