Ebony G. Patterson
Ebony G. Patterson, …when the cuts erupt…the garden rings…and the warning is a wailing…, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. September 11, 2020–February 21, 2021. Photo: Dusty Kessler.
The ICA San José is excited to host the first major solo exhibition of Ebony G. Patterson on the West Coast. Patterson’s expansive practice addresses visibility and invisibility, through explorations of class, race, gender, youth culture, pageantry and acts of violence in the context of “postcolonial” spaces. Each work is intricately embellished and densely layered, in order to draw the viewer closer and to question how we engage in the act of looking. Entrancing and colorful, Patterson’s works command the viewer to look beyond their rich formal characteristics and to acknowledge the realities of social injustice.
The exhibition …when the cuts erupt…the garden rings…and the warning is a wailing…, will travel to the ICA San José from the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. The works represent Patterson’s expansion into a new phase of her practice, emerging from the foundation of her previous garden-themed constructions. The garden serves as a postcolonial symbol of a past that is never fully buried and barely visible. “Beauty, for me, is a tool of seduction,” says Patterson, “a trap.” The coexistence of beauty and horror in Patterson’s environments parallel the abundant plant-life she conjures through an excess of embellished materials. To construct the work, Patterson shreds and tears paper by hand, damaging the material in the process of making new forms, parallel to the act of gardening when living things are shredded, torn, and cut. Her gardens are never far from notions of violence, of memorial, of blood and tears.
The exhibition features a large-scale, five-panel work on paper with wallpaper and sculptural elements, as well as a sculptural and tapestry installation and two large works on paper hung as a diptych which will be on view at the ICA San José Spring 2021.
About Ebony G. Patterson
Ebony G. Patterson (b. 1981 in Kingston, Jamaica; lives and works in Kingston and Chicago, IL) received the prestigious Stone & DeGuire Contemporary Art Award from her alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis, in 2018. Patterson’s solo exhibitions and projects have been shown at many U.S. institutions including the Baltimore Museum of Art (2019), and The Studio Museum in Harlem (2016). Her touring exhibition …while the dew is still on the roses… premiered at Pérez Art Museum Miami (2018–19); traveled to Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY (2019); and opens on February 27, 2020 at Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, Durham, NC. Upcoming exhibitions include biennials in Liverpool and Athens, and her first solo European exhibition at Kunsthal Aarhus in Denmark, all in 2020. Patterson received a United States Artists Fellowship in 2018, and is the resident artist at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans in the fall of 2020. Prior to receiving her MFA at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis (2006), Patterson attended the Edna Manley College, in Kingston, Jamaica, receiving a BFA in painting (2004).