This exhibition by Reuben Paterson marks a new direction in his ongoing exploration of patterning and materials. The series of predominately large-scale, black and white, kaleidoscope paintings makes for an optical and opulent viewing experience.
As part of the Art and Industry Biennial 2004, Paterson conceived a work for Riccarton House, which transformed its forecourt into a swirling and psychedelic environment. It was this installation which has spurred the works of Paterson’s Narcissus exhibition.
Drawing from a range of 1960’s ‘op’ designs, reminiscent of work by the likes of Bridget Riley, these patterns have been further treated with a kaleidoscopic process. The resulting imagery either appears as the complete kaleidoscopic pattern, or is fragmented with areas of solid white or black, creating a shattering effect. Known for his seductive use of glitter, diamond dust has also now been incorporated in Paterson’s oeuvre – a material also favoured by pop artist Andy Warhol.
“The act of looking twice has always inspired and intrigued me; it’s the fact of seeing, and of not being able to see, of knowing, and of yet to learn, of being drawn into a picture to discover multiple layers of visual truths, those images that are obvious, and those that are hidden. Optical art in my opinion places a binding emphasis on this form of perception. Optical art distils the principles of art and uses them singly with force and commitment. It is the art of pure essentials that relies on total abstraction and visual confrontation.” Reuben Paterson, 2004
This optical visual experience is extended further in Paterson’s animation DVD. The black and white designs surge in waves, transfixing the viewer with its memorising movements.
To coincide with this exhibition Paterson will release his first series of screen-prints, which incorporate his trademark use of glitter. These screen-prints encompass images from each of his Koru, retro, and kaleidoscopic series of works.