The Visual Arts Center of Richmond presents a solo exhibition by Atlanta-based artist Curtis Patterson. Journey Through showcases a selection of bronze and steel abstract sculptures from the 1980s to today. Patterson’s unique command of materials and his dynamic compositions point toward an illustrious, decades-long career as a sculptor of engaging and often large-scale public works.
A native of Louisiana, Patterson’s experience of growing up during the Civil Rights Movement informs the subject matter and the symbolism in his work. With inspirations in art history ranging from Hale Woodruff to Henry Moore, Patterson’s large-scale sculptures and multi-dimensional wall works emphasize a spectrum of African diasporic experiences within the context of modern and contemporary art. His abstract approach is also inspired by a longtime interest in improvisational jazz. Motifs and forms in the Rocker series, for example, encourage an interpretive dialog between the artist, the artwork, and the viewer. These slot-fitted, interlocking, geometric shapes provide balance and kinetic movement.
Other works on view, such as Shango’s Friends, highlight his continuous use of African symbols, such as the Yoruba double ax and double iron as visual elements that, in his words, “pay tribute to domestic labor implemented by people of African descent.” From his 1980’s series Unbroken Connections, which celebrates such leaders as Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela, to his most recent mask-inspired wall reliefs Diasporic Reflections, Patterson demonstrates a longstanding commitment to “raising consciousness about a people who have given so much of themselves.”
from the exhibition text