Ebony G. Patterson’s “…when the cuts erupt…the garden rings…and the warning is a wailing…” is still on view at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis until February 21, 2021. Then exhibition will travel to the Institute of Contemporary Art San José and will be on view from March 20 to September 5, 2021.
Description: The garden has figured as a recurring motif throughout Ebony G. Patterson’s practice. For her CAM exhibition, …when the cuts erupt…the garden rings…and the warning is a wailing…, she juxtaposes two new works: an immersive installation in the Front Gallery and a monumental, multilayered paper collage extending from CAM’s 60-foot-long Project Wall. The new works represent Patterson’s expansion into a new phase of her practice, emerging from the foundation of her previous garden-themed constructions. The garden serves as a “postcolonial” symbol of a past that is never fully buried and barely visible. Her immersive gardens grow out of a complex entanglement of race, gender, class, and violence. “Beauty, for me, is a tool of seduction,” the artist has said, “a trap.” The coexistence of beauty and horror in Patterson’s environments parallel the abundant plant-life she conjures through an excess of embellished materials. The artist titles her Project Wall piece, …and the dew cracks the earth, in five acts of lamentation…between the cuts…beneath the leaves…below the soil…. To construct the work, Patterson shreds and tears paper by hand, damaging the material in the process of making new forms, parallel to the act of gardening when living things are shred, torn, and cut. Her gardens are never far from notions of violence, of memorial, of blood and tears.
Ebony G. Patterson: …when the cuts erupt…the garden rings…and the warning is a wailing… is organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by Wassan Al-Khudhairi, Chief Curator.
The exhibition tours to the Institute of Contemporary Art San José (March 20–September 5, 2021).
For more information, see https://camstl.org/exhibitions/ebony-g-patterson/