The Harrison Gallery will present a solo show of realist paintings by Nick Patten from July 5–30. The artist will attend the show's opening reception at the Gallery on Saturday, July 5. From 5:00 to 7:00 pm.
Nick Patten paints the interiors of rooms in old houses with direct and reflected light that touches gently on the walls and floors, archways and sparse furnishings to create scenes that are hauntingly still, serene and calming.
His works typically bring the eye on a journey through the portion of a room or a series of rooms that give the viewer the feeling of peeking in at a time when nobody else is in the house. He's a master at creating spaces that speak not through people or movement, but through shadows, light and reflections.
Whatever feelings the viewer gets from his paintings, Patten says, they belong to the viewer alone. "I don't put any narrative into my work. I don't try to manipulate the observer's emotions. If someone sees melancholy in the empty room, fine, if someone gets a feeling of pleasant nostalgia for a home once lived in, that's just as valid."
Patten works from photographs, painting in a windowless studio in a barn behind his home just outside of Hudson, New York. As he works, a spotlight illuminates his canvas just as it does when his paintings are exhibited. "The photos," he says, "are just a starting point. I use what I call 'the process of exclusion' which means I sort through what's on the film and take out all extraneous objects. sometimes adding things from my imagination. With the design in place I then work to create a balance, harnessing the bold contrasts of light and shadow to reveal the quiet drama in an everyday scene."
Born in Troy, New York, Patten earned his BA of Fine Arts at the College of St. Rose in Albany. In New York City he partook of life drawing classes at both the Art Students League and the National Academy of Design. For twelve years he ran the Patten Gallery in Chatham, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod before returning recently to his home grounds along the Hudson River.
His flawless, romantic renditions in the classical style have earned Patten a national reputation and membership in the Society of American Graphic Artist. His works are in the collections of the New York and Boston libraries and as well as in the collections of major corporations throughout the country.
The Harrison Gallery is located at 39 Spring Street in Williamstown, MA. Gallery hours: Monday –Saturday, 10 am – 5:30 pm, Sunday 11 am – 4 pm. For further information call 413 458 1700 or visit the website at www.theharrisongallery.com.