Simon Patterson | the artist
The artist Simon Patterson
Born 1967, Leatherhead Surrey, England.
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Patterson is fascinated by the information which orders our lives. He humorously dislocates and subverts sources of information such as maps, diagrams and constellation charts; one of his best known works is The Great Bear.
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Simon Patterson studied at Hertfordshire College of Art and Design and Goldsmiths College, London until 1989. He is interested in information systems, such as the London Underground map, which he humorously subverts in his best known work, The Great Bear. Patterson replaced the names of stations with names of philosophers, film stars, explorers, saints and celebrities, and thus drew parallels between spatial orientation and formations of identity through education and popular culture. In 1996 Patterson was nominated for the Turner Prize.
Pattersons ongoing fascination with the arbitrariness of nomenclature also finds new resonance in a wall drawing. It pits American Presidents against ancient Mesopotamians, an omelette thats perhaps over-egged by the proximity of notorious cowboys and a film that splices the exit strategies of escapologists with those of an aircraft. In this typically jokey exhibition, the only claim to subtlety resides in a hypnotic exploration of the eroticism of machinery which is reminiscent of Duchamps Large Glass…
A different form of homage appears in Pattersons Name Paintings, in which he has silkscreened a name in a black, typewriter-style font at the center of a white canvas. He always chooses people, like Che Guevara, who summon up canonical images. The series was represented here by its earliest examples, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor (both 1987). In counterpoint to Warhols glamorous portraits, these are informed by Conceptual arts clinical restraintin this case dryly applied to subjects notorious for their excesses…