Watch out for Self-portrait in Black Tights by Emily Patrick (b1959) which is included in this artist’s show at Gallery 27, Cork Street until November 8. Patrick is self-taught but has exhibited at Agnew’s, the National Portrait Gallery and Lefèvre Gallery.
One of the arguments (and it is a feeble one) so often adduced to justify the work of artists such as those of little discernible ability exibiting in “Sensation” is that they must be artists because they trained as artists. Presumably this means that Patrick can’t be an artist because she had no training. That makes Francis Bacon, another autodidact, an impostor as well. The logic used by apologists for the so-called “Cutting Edge” is always so persuasive.
Emily Patrick’s fifth solo London exhibition closes on Saturday. It is already a big success … My own favourite is Sky and Girl in Turban, with Emily head and shoulders, two olive (?) trees, faded grass and the most intense blue since Arles. Verging on the Van Gogh but not so manic [and] sold to a very private British collector
Emily Patrick’s paintings have a wonderful resonance about them. Anyone who admires fine paintings will love these works, full of an unselfconscious charm and a very dedicated desire to cature significant moments. Her touch is light and fresh, whether she is depicting a vase of flowers or a critically observed self-portrait. I first came across her work over a decade ago, and it is so rewarding to see just how she has developed her style and stayed loyal to the very fundamentals of painting technique.
…one can see British tradition updated and revitalised with a stronger palette and sense of youthful freshness. From a study of a violin depicted alongisde a pair of shoes to a vase of flowers, or a candid self-portrait, Patrick reveals a natural empathy for the character of objects and people.
After all the hype surrounding “Sensation” at the Royal Academy, it comes as a relief to find a yBA like Emily Patrick. Here is an artist concerned with negotiating meaningfully those troubling areas that lie between original visual sensation (to use the word in its truest sense) and the making of marks on a flat surface.
As this immensely appealing exhibition of still-lifes, landscapes and portraits makes clear, Patrick…has acquired a virtuoso technique that enables her to paint anything, and she does so with a subtle strength and unpretentious warmth. Her Dorset landscapes reveal a quietness and plainness of feeling that bring you back to them again and again, while a painting like her large full-length self-portrait introduces an attractive sense of self-mockery.