Mike Patten – “Mondrian’s Garden”, 2007


Mike Patten – “Mondrian’s Garden”, 2007

Mike Patten’s Mondrian’s Garden reflects on the medium of painting itself – its intrinsic limits and the dual possibility it offers to both represent the world we evolve in as realistic and as an abstraction.  As others have done before him, Patten uses the tools of painting to discuss painting.  He plays with the thin line that separates abstraction from realism.

Mondrian’s Garden might first give the impression of an abstract work, due to its minimalist aspect and the obvious references to modernist art and to Barnett Newman in particular, but it embodies the very concrete desire many artists share to reproduce reality.

In his installation, Patten uses green masking tape to mimic paint.  The choice of colour he makes is especially meaningful when an analogy with Piet Mondrian’s production has been made, as the latter completely avoided the use of green, which he considered to be evocative of nature and landscapes.  In the accompanying works from the Ladder series, Patten further questions the notion of reality, as black masking tape is used to render ladder silhouettes onto framed glass, and the shadows thus cast onto the wall.

Originally from Regina, Mike Patten lives and works in Montréal. He holds a BFA in painting and drawing with a minor in art history from the University of Regina.  Patten has participated in solo and group exhibitions internationally and nationally at artist run, commercial, and university galleries including: LOOP international video art Festival, (Barcelona, Spain, 2007), Neutral Ground, (Regina, SK, 2005), Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain, (Montreal, QC, 2006) and the University of Bishops, (Lennoxville, QC, 2006).

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