Cinematic Curiosities: Patte Loper’s Still Point of the Returning World
The small row of Patte Loper’s modest, handcrafted sculptures from new exhibition Still Point of the Returning World discretely lines a pedestal in the back of Seattle’s Platform Gallery. Untitled (Leipzig) resembles an awkward architectural model of stacked boxes, covered by a bulbous sheet; the nearby funnel created from sticks and cardboard strips stands stagnant in space, like a film prop without a set. Within the surrounding paintings, however, these foreign sculptural objects explode into complex cornerstones of the artist’s fantastical, painted environments. The mound of boxes becomes a radiating acropolis, stranded impossibly between a fairyland and a modernist kitchen in the painting titled Queen Mab; in Remember Me as a Time of Day, the funnel transforms into a radiant, pink cyclone, expunging tree limbs and frolicking foxes into a two-dimensional forest. - Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor
Remember Me as a Time of Day, 20 x 24 inches, oil on panel, 2011. Courtesy Patte Loper and Platform Gallery.
Still Point of the Returning World continues Loper’s pursuit of questions concerning the arrest of time; a sense of stillness and unnatural pause pervade consistently across the artist’s paintings and within the prose of their titles. Earlier series, including Let Our Beauty Ease Your Grief (2006) and For a Thousand Summers (2009), introduce complex landscapes comprised of stark, modernist spaces integrated with wildlife imagery that borders on kitsch, similar to those seen in Still Point of the Returning World. While the pairing of the universes depicted seems conceptually bizarre, Loper seamlessly integrates the unlike subject matter into environments of visual curiosity.
No Matter How Many Skies Have Fallen, 30 x 40 inches, oil on panel, 2011. Courtesy Patte Loper and Platform Gallery.
In earlier series, unconscious familiarity plays a role in the overall effect of the works, as the artist incorporated visual elements from popular media sources, including Artfourm magazine, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and North by Northwest. Platform Gallery maintains the artist relied on the sculptural forms as the primary source for the paintings of Still Point of the Returning World; yet elements of the cinematic still underscore their compositions. The pink tornado of Remember Me as Time of Day and its picturesque sweep of white, siding-like strips evoke the house enveloped by the Wizard of Oz’s iconic twister and the kaleidoscopic wonder of its final destination. Likewise, the modernist living room of Funneling Light from Other Universes into Our Mundane World brings to mind the absurdly memorable residence of Woody Allen’s Sleeper. Although specific films may not be part of the work, Loper’s snapshot approach to portraying highly imagined, suspended actions bears inherent ties to film. Similar to impactful cinema, the artist’s paintings transport the viewer to a place not always understandable but one that entrances and intrigues beyond the dimensions of physical space and time.
Funneling Light from Other Universes into Our Mundane World, 18 x 22 inches, oil on paper, 2011. Courtesy Patte Loper and Platform Gallery.
Untitled (Leipzig), variable dimensions, mixed media, 2011. Courtesy Patte Loper and Platform Gallery.
Patte Loper’s Still Point of the Returning World is on view at Platform Gallery through November 19, 2011.