Artist Registry


The White Columns Curated Artist Registry is an online platform for emerging and under-recognized artists to share images and information about their respective practices. The Registry seeks to create a context for artists who have yet to benefit from wider critical, curatorial or commercial support. To be eligible, artists cannot be affiliated with a commercial gallery in New York City.

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Patricia Anne Bender
Somerset NJ US
Updated: 2021-06-02 11:36:11

STATEMENT OF WORK

 

From the first day I began to make photographs seriously, I was drawn to creating abstract images.  Using black and white film, I initially photographed in the manner of Aaron Siskind and Harry Callahan, seeking the abstract in reality:  weatherworn rocks, torn bits of paper stapled to telephone poles, bare twigs breaching deep snow.  I must have succeeded in this endeavor because people often did not recognize the thing I had photographed. This was satisfying because I had helped them see something in a different way.

 

A few years ago, however, I found I’d become restless; no longer content hunting abstracts in the real world, I wanted to create them myself.  Photograms, where you place objects on photographic paper, and cliche-verre prints, where you use a drawing as your negative, seemed the perfect photographic processes for this.  I could play and experiment with objects, lines, papers, shapes, light, shadow, texture, size, and depth in the darkroom to construct my own abstract creations. To paraphrase one of my heroes, the artist Dorothea Rockburne, I wanted to create images that were of themselves and not about something else.

 

My love of drawing quickly led me to draw for the pure joy of drawing.  During the past year I have divided my time between drawing in the light of my studio, and drawing in the dark of the darkroom.  It's the perfect combination for me.

 

The mysterious ability of abstraction to move the human heart and mind has always fascinated me.  When I photograph a beautiful tree I understand why people respond.  After all, it’s a beautiful tree.  When I create a photogram or drawing of a simple circle bisected by a line I have no understanding why it moves me or others, but it can.  I love the cryptic nature of the conversation between art and emotion.  Agnes Martin spent a lifetime creating her simple, mesmerizing, rectangular grid paintings in an effort to depict happiness on a canvas.  What a glorious pursuit, and she captured it with a simple rectangle!

 

In the work shown here I have continued my exploration of  geometric abstraction, trying to figure out what I might create with just lines, circles, triangles and squares.  The process is completely intuitive.  I add and subtract shapes and layers until somehow they seem right.  When it feels complete I stop and move on.  A simple circle can spawn endless images.  I guess I’ll be at this for some time to come.