Callicoon Fine Arts is very pleased to present an exhibition by Kamau Amu Patton, his first with the gallery, that includes seven large paintings and a video whose audio component is transmitted by radio. The works loosely delineate a space where video feedback and radio transmission are not only utilized to create paintings and sound, but also expand on traditions linking technology to the metaphysical and the social.
A video in the back room of the gallery is composed from camera-based feedback created by pointing a video camera at the monitor receiving its signal. Patton takes this signal and converts it to a digital file, manipulating it further to create the video imagery, a solar flare of amber distortion, evoking the cracked-static-fuzz of disintegrating cable TV signals, or the haze of insufficient reception. The audio is wired from the display screen to an analogue radio transmitter and broadcasted via antenna on 106.4FM. From the opposite side of the gallery, a radio is tuned into the signal and the sound immerses the space with ambient tones. The transmission originating from the gallery also extends to the range of the radio signal broadcast, creating a much larger sphere of possible engagement with Patton’s sound composition.
The large un-stretched canvases, hanging from their top edge like tapestries, are painted with large areas of color: floating planetary auras in a range of hues. In addition, black silk-screened patterns derived from the feedback-generated video imagery are applied to the canvas. The printed image is repeated three times, stacked one on top of the other, creating a format that is reminiscent of monolithic columns. The paintings, with their immersive scale, absorb the reverberations of sound, space, color, and light. They represent a series of transformations all derived from a single point in the feedback cycle.
Kamau Amu Patton, an artist based in New York, received an MFA from Stanford University in 2007 and has had solo exhibitions at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Queens Nails Annex in San Francisco. He has worked collaboratively on artists’ projects at MoMA and at LACMA. Patton was a 2010-2011 artist-in-residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem. His work was shown at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2011 as part of the SECA Art Award exhibition. In 2012 he participated in Pacific Standard Time and in 2013 in the Machine Project Field guide to L.A. Architecture. Patton has recently completed projects and exhibitions through grant support provided by the State University of New York at Buffalo, the Mellon Elemental Arts Initiative at Pomona College and the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore college.