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Parris Patton presents a series of plaster, stone, and mixed media sculptures, exploring his admittedly complicated relationship to classical form and materials, and the fraught quest for an unattainable paradigm. The works largely depict fragments of figures -- torsos with missing limbs, partial faces, or cherubic stances -- that recur in museums of classical antiquity. More modern interjections evoke Picasso or Henry Moore in their visceral tactility. Stagings and shrine-like accumulations of flowers, shells, and also assemblagist gestures like cake plates and cured wood all complicate the aesthetic in gently deconstructive ways. Working intuitively from seeds of an idea, the discourse between the commonplace and the elevated is a large part of what animates the sculptures.
Instilled with an early awareness that the pinnacles of classical art were out of reach of most mortal artists, Patton has nevertheless persisted in a manner that reclaims the aesthetic for himself. It’s impossible not to recognize references to, for example, the Venus de Milo among the statuary; but at the same instant the strong presence of an assertively subversive voice makes itself known.