Patrick Painter

Carlson Hatton

19 Mar - 21 May 2016

© Carlson Hatton
Torrential, 2016
Acrylic, graphite and paper on panel
60 x 43.5 inches (152.4 x 110.5 cm)
Black Hills
19 March – 21 May 2016

Patrick Painter is pleased to present, “Black Hills,” a solo exhibition featuring new paintings by Los Angeles artist Carlson Hatton. This exhibition will showcase Hatton’s complex and compelling panels inhabited by disjointed and languishing figures.

"Black Hills" derives from an exploration of stains, spills and stutters that rhythmically populate the paintings and form simplified representations of hills. The repetition recalls the abstraction of a sheet of photo negatives, or the intriguingly distinct results of a jammed printer. Composed of graph paper, acrylic paint, and meticulous graphite drawings, each piece is an eclectic fusion of vaguely familiar representation, gestural abstraction, and elements that more closely resemble biological details. The pieces initially convey a sense of chaos, but closer examination reveals meticulously rendered graphite drawings of vessels, chairs, candles, eyes, feet, and hair. These quieter moments are a reprieve from the energetic sprawl. The panels’ swooping edges and curved corners suggest that fanciful portals have been cut into the walls to reveal an abyss of drips, glitches and layered configurations of form.

In pieces such as Swamp (2016), an array of references converge in a volatile and patterned world. Two figures navigate the murky and uncertain territory of a nearly monochromatic forest. The two figures, suspended in motion against a stormy background, symbolize weakened fighters at odds with their environment. Sinewy strands and graphite drawings weave in and out of their bodies, and fragmented imagery brings to mind a wealth of history that has been reduced into broken bits. The hill motif both transforms a splotch of paint into something recognizable, while at the same time simplifying dense layers of landscape and figuration into identifiable entities. Here, silhouetted figures surrender to the weight and density of their environment. Action has ceased, the fight has concluded, and figures lie in repose dissolving within the slow but persistent growth of the aftermath.

Carlson Hatton lives and works in Los Angeles. He received his BFA from the Cooper Union in New York (1997). He completed post-graduate studies at De Ateliers in Amsterdam (2001), and The Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, The Netherlands (2001). He has exhibited recently at The University of Redlands Peppers Art Gallery in Redlands, CA, and the Torrance Art Museum in Torrance, CA. He currently teaches at Santa Monica College where he serves as the head of the Drawing Department.