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Turn Up the Volume: New Works by Camille Patha

Museum of Northwest Art
La Conner WA – Apr 1-Jun 11, 2017

Camille Patha, Other Rooms

Camille Patha, Other Rooms (2017), mixed media [Museum of Northwest Art, La Conner WA, Apr 1-Jun 11] Photo: Richard Nicol]

Camille Patha, Collective Voices

Camille Patha, Collective Voices (2017), oil and acrylic on canvas [Museum of Northwest Art, La Conner WA, Apr 1-Jun 11] Photo: Richard Nicol

Camille Patha, Non Fiction

Camille Patha, Non Fiction (2017), oil on canvas [Museum of Northwest Art, La Conner WA, Apr 1-Jun 11] Photo: Richard Nicol

For her fifth solo museum survey since 1979, Normandy Park, WA artist Camille Patha created a new body of work to complement earlier examples, some drawn from the permanent collection of the Museum of Northwest Art.

Curator Kathleen Moles has worked closely with Patha, now 79, to spotlight examples that underscore the artist’s unique blend of gestural expressionism, brilliant color, and, surprisingly to some, latent feminist content. Despite the fact that Patha hosted Judy Chicago’s first visit to Seattle, she shied away from explicit feminist imagery and content, choosing to sublimate anatomy occasionally, and celebrate pure painting that has been praised by numerous critics.

A decade ago, Patha radically increased the scale of her abstractions, averaging ten feet square. Illustrating a full-scale monograph (by this author), the paintings renewed critical and curatorial interest, resulting in the recent surveys and gallery exhibitions.

A good example of currently vaunted artists’ “late period” styles, Patha’s enormous canvases combine lush landscape imagery with pulsing flesh tones and exuberant brushwork. She was feted with a state dinner and large-scale survey at the US Embassy in Guatemala City in 2015. Attendance broke all records as the public responded to her tropical colours and extravagant structures.

Matthew Kangas

 Tue, Apr 4, 2017