"A Notable Journey." A Conversation With Curtis Patterson


27 December 2022

27 December 2022

Presented by Laney Contemporary.

Join us for a conversation with Atlanta-based sculptor Curtis Patterson (b., Shreveport, LA, 1944) and Aaron Levi Garvey, the inaugural Janet L. Nolan Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Arts at Auburn University. The talk will touch on Patterson's legendary impact as a professor—including on painters Radcliffe Bailey, Fahamu Pecou, and illustrator Thomas Blackshear—and the development of his artistic philosophies and influences since the mid-1970s. The discussion will also highlight Patterson's numerous public sculptures, including those in Atlanta, Dallas, Columbus, Shreveport, and St. Paul, and invite his thoughts on historic and contemporary monuments. Finally, as an important platform of visibility, this program will position Patterson in the pantheon of black sculptors including Richard Hunt, Melvin Edwards, and Martin Puryear, and serve as an introduction to his prolific studio practice highlighting recent sculptural series which have captured the attention of museums, collectors, and a new generation of artists for whom he is a formidable example of professional tenacity and boundless creativity.

About Curtis Patterson

Born in Shreveport, LA, Curtis Patterson’s upbringing fostered a deep affinity for working with his hands and instilled a strong sense of discipline, balance, and spirituality. Patterson earned his BA in Art Education from Grambling State University, an HBCU listed on the African American Heritage Trail, and his MFA from Georgia State University and was the first African American to receive an MFA in Sculpture from GSU in 1976. His practice has moved from painting, wood, and ceramics to cast iron and large-scale, bronze and fabricated corten steel sculpture. Patterson was a faculty member at The Atlanta College of Art from 1976 to 2007. His work entered the realm of large-scale, public sculpture with Cometh the Sun commissioned by the City of Atlanta’s Bureau of Cultural Affairs in 1977. Since, Patterson has been commissioned for permanent public installations in prominent cities throughout the United States. His recent solo exhibition, A Notable Journey, at Laney Contemporary, Savannah, GA, was pivotal to bringing Patterson's sculpture to a broader audience. His work is currently the subject of a solo exhibition at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, VA, on view through January 8, 2023.

About Aaron Levi Garvey

Aaron Levi Garvey is a Jewish-American curator working in contemporary arts and culture and is the inaugural Janet L. Nolan Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Arts at Auburn University. Recent exhibitions and projects include: The Hudson Eye a 10-day and 27-venue arts and humanities focused program in Hudson, New York, which has featured the work and performances of notable artists such as David Hammons, Allora and Calzadilla, Terence Koh, Marina Abramović, Shikeith, Rachel Libeskind, Jeffrey Gibson, Jonah Bokaer and Emily Ritz; the co-founding and directing of Long Road Projects Foundation an organization which focuses on supporting artists with residency, edition publishing and exhibition opportunities; Flashing the Leather at Alabama Contemporary in Mobile, Alabama; Ephemera Obscura at the Contemporary Art Center of New Orleans and Manon Bellet's MEMO and Shikeith’s notes towards becoming a spill, both at Atlanta Contemporary, and Invisible Thread at The Baker Museum – Artist Naples.