Landscape, an Exhibition by Patrick O'Kiersey
August 8- EXTENDED until September 25, 2020
Those familiar with the works of Patrick O’Kiersey might imagine they’ve seen some of these images before. On the contrary, the physical state of these paintings has undergone transformational processes; just as landscapes are subject to the inexorable laws of natural conditions (climate), so evolves the gaze of the artist. It is true that the underpinnings of this exhibition are works created over decades, many generated before the artist moved from California to Hawaii. However, through these years in the artist’s quiet studio on the slope of the volcano above the town of Honoka’a, canvases and artist alike were under the influence of climate and place. The humidity of the adjacent forest, mold and microorganisms implemented their own landscape upon canvas. Over time the recognizable colors and transitions, the thick, bold, brave, expressively applied layers of paint remained, but not those former ones -- the color was far from the intensity of the originals -- under the influence of climate they had become dull.
But the artist too was transformed by time and environment. Preparing this exhibition, instead of restoring these paintings, Patrick expanded upon their past. Some he pressure-washed, some he scrubbed with a hard brush, adding layers of paint and varnish, offering them a new identity. Even now it may seem that the gloss varnish could protect these emergent works from the further influence of nature, stop or fix the process. However, creating in the tropics reminds us of our relationship with nature. These artworks, like the artist -- inspired by nature -- remain a part of nature.
Mark Rothko Goes Swimming: Patrick O’Kiersey
In 1978 I was 34 years old, working a blue collar union job at the San Francisco Chronicle. You didn’t even have to read to do the job. The rent was paid but I had no focus, no energy. I was doing nothing with my life. An aborted marriage, didn’t last three months, everything looked small, then this happened.
I was removing the brake drum from a VW Bug. The Idiots’ Guide to Working on Your VW suggested I hit it hard with a hammer. It didn’t move. The guide said use a bigger hammer. A chip of steel flew right through my eye. It’s still there in the fatty tissue behind the eye. There was almost no physical pain but a big life change. My life felt like a mess, like nothing. As I was lying in bed recuperating, it just came to me, “I’ll paint!” It was never an ambition I’d had. It wasn’t a plan or a conscious effort. I began drawing by the ocean. Within a year I was painting large. I went on to complete my Masters at Mills College in Oakland, Studying with Jay DeFeo, then exhibiting at Triangle Gallery in San Francisco for the next twenty years, and now here on the Big Island. It’s beautiful here – everywhere – but it’s not about painting this tree or this gulch. The drawings are notes for paintings. Some works evolved through time, some are changed or painted over. They’re often not naturalistic but I hope that energy is in the paintings.
Exhibition will start on August 8th (Saturday) with normal gallery hours of 10am-4pm, Tuesday-Saturday. No opening reception will be held. The EHCC will be adhering to the following GALLERY Policies and Procedures at this time:
All visitors are required to wear a face mask to enter the gallery as recommended by the CDC and following County and State of Hawaiʻi regulations.
Maximum of 10 people (including EHCC team members) allowed in the GALLERY space at all times.
Maintain a social distance of six feet between you and others as much as possible.
We encourage “no-contact” forms of communication like waving Hello, thumbs up/down, and air hugs; please avoid unnecessary physical contact.
If you feel in any way unwell or sick, please STAY HOME and visit us another time. Thank You.