10/27/2012

Nick Patten

Nick Patten Through Lace Curtains  oil on panel 20"x30" 2009

Nick Patten Into the White oil on panel 11"x14" 2007


Peter McLaughlin has recommended that we look at the interiors of Nick Patten, whose sense of light and mysterious calm brings to my mind the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershøi.

Peter has contributed these words to express his feelings about Patten's paintings: 

Like Edward Hopper, Nick Patten brings a beauty and mystique to everyday scenes. His subjects are simple. His vision profound.

Nick’s paintings of sparsely furnished rooms with slanted light coming in through the windows are hauntingly still, serene and calm. Their effect is more visceral than intellectual. A Nick Patten painting brings the eye on a journey through rooms that gives the viewer the feeling of peeking in at a time when nobody else is at home. His interior spaces have an enigmatic quality that defies a single interpretation. Some may see sadness or loneliness in Nick’s paintings. Others may see the sweet memory of how their grandmother’s parlor looked on a summer’s afternoon. Though no people appear in Nick’s rooms, their presence is palpable … like a faint scent in the air. But whatever the interpretation, it’s the light that mesmerizes.

Patten can bring a bright shaft of light through a window and follow it as it bounces off the floors, walls and furniture and finally diffuses into an ink black shadow in the dark corner.  His progression of light through a room is a work of magic.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more with McLaughlin. Nick Patten invites us to fall in love with light again, especially the light of rooms and halls of New England houses. Patten's places glow with angled, reflected, curtain-diffused light, light that somehow still holds the someone who's just left, anticipates someone just arriving. Part of that feeling arises from close detailing of open doors, floors, windows, stairs, furnishings; of domestic geometries in other words; geometries that hide bold abstracts in plain view. Everywhere Patten's places remain luminous with the unseen that fills them.

    Paul Diehl
    Iowa CIty, IA

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