Nendo Galerie is pleased to present Événements, a solo exhibition by Patrick Loughran, featuring a mix of older works and new ones from a series executed at the Woodman Residency Foundation in Antella, near Florence, where he was, with the New York painter Robert Kushner, the first guest artist of a new residency program in what was once the Italian home of Betty and George Woodman.
If there is one essential principle of sculpture, it is the need to go around it in order to apprehend it as a whole. In the case of Patrick Loughran’s work, however, seeing the whole does not mean to grasp its entirety. For his work exists only in its multiplicity… of forms, points of view, readings; a work that is almost resistant to an overall perception, that slips away at the same time as it discovers itself. It refuses to let itself be locked into a single image and makes a point of revealing itself progressively, in fragments, pieces, planes, glazes…
The work is constructed so that it always develops from the center, from the core, from a nucleus on which outgrowths aggregate, as if in response to a developing centripetal movement. The diversity of language thus expressed, the collision of forms and vocabulary, generate revelations for the eye and the mind.
What’s more, this multiplicity of entry points gives rise to so many little playlets, narrative micro-fragments, which when added together form neither a whole nor a grand story, but turn diversity and confrontation into a sequence of individual events, each of which contributes to the others in order to maintain a global dynamic.
The notion of events also implies a temporal dimension, as collage and accumulation lend an almost suspended character to the whole, not stopped, not fixed; as if other “events” could potentially follow, adding to the existing ones and thus stretching the work in space and time to extend and sustain its conversational reach.
In all its complexity, Patrick Loughran’s sculpture also always hints at a taste for the domestic, expressed through certain “events”, such as fragments that might evoke a handle, a neck or a belly of a pot. Hence this passion for collage, this need to compose with bits and pieces, which amounts to summoning up a mutant utilitarianism that inscribes his work in popular ceramic culture, to which the artist remains fundamentally attached.
In fact, the new works produced in Italy are made from Tuscan red clay, which could not be more common there. Some, moreover, are not entirely glazed in order to highlight it and emphasize its importance and the vitality it breathes.
Beyond the “events” provoked by Charivari or Saltimbanque – the titles of two large-scale works produced in response to the residency – a landscape dimension is also expressed in more horizontal works, all partially entitled “Antella”, in direct reference to the residency site. Reminiscences of spring, the surrounding buildings, the garden and the dazzling blooms are expressed there, revealing colors that are perhaps bolder and sunnier than usual.
It’s as if, in the concentration of an elusive form, earthly events, cosmic events, events of the mind are juxtaposed… a multitude of events which does not constitute one but many worlds.
Patrick Loughran (b. 1948, Detroit, lives in Paris) holds degrees in Political Science and Fine Arts from Columbia University, New York City.
He has taught ceramics at art schools in New York, Chicago and New Mexico.
In 1991, he moved to Paris. He has taught at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Art (ENSA) in Limoges and in several municipal art schools.
His sculptures and drawings are exhibited in France and abroad: recently in Les Flammes, Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris; Par le feu, la couleur, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon; L’Expérience de la couleur, Sèvres – Cité de la céramique; Biennale Internationale de Céramique de Vallauris (Prix de la Ville de Vallauris 2016); Saarländisches Künstlerhaus, (Saarbrücken, Germany); 15th and 19th Biennale Internationale de Céramique (Châteauroux); Fondation Bernardaud (Limoges); Mona Bismarck Foundation (Paris); Fule International Ceramic Museums (Fuping, China)…
© Jean-Christophe Lett