AUSTĖ & PATRICK BURTON
Galerie Camille announces “Tales from Once Not So Long Ago,” a two-person show featuring two decidedly eccentric Detroit-born artists, Austė and Patrick Burton. Each artist has a radically distinctive, extravagant style, creating paintings that are tantalizing spectacles. The exhibit opens on September 23rd, with a reception at 6 p.m.
Meeting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the early 1980s, the two artists remain friends, joined by temperament, aesthetic pursuits, and whimsy.
“The punk diva drawer-painter known as Austė.” - Jerry Saltz
Austė has blazed a twisty, rococo artistic trail since art school with paintings and drawings that tantalize and delight some, and confound others.
A conspicuous personage in the Chicago art world when just out of school, Austė’s earliest work was regarded as radically eccentric, in an art scene known for championing weird styles.
Described by New York Magazine’s Jerry Saltz as “the punk diva drawer-painter known as Austė,” the artist’s defiant romantic fantasy, exoticism, and hothouse decor recall the likes of Florine Stettheimer and filmmaker Jack Smith, while her assimilation of Hairy Who bravado, Cass Corridor punk, and transgressive East Village sensibility gives her art its own unique air of beautiful insubordination.
Austė’s ongoing pas de deux between her own private imagined world and the outer world are made manifest in her work. The singular worlds she conjures reveal themselves gradually, surprisingly, and impishly.
Her wickedly flamboyant work—at once refined and outlandish—fascinates and repels. Rendered in sinuous, whiplash lines, the paintings and drawings center on sylphlike female figures who materialize, intermingle and evanesce.
While delineated with both precision and exaggeration, her paintings and their female inhabitants remain unknowable, like hieroglyphs from a newly discovered civilization, to which you are cordially invited.
A graduate of the Philadelphia College of Art, with an M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Austė has had solo shows in New York, at Greenspon Gallery, Mitchell Algus Gallery, and Hamilton Gallery; at Nancy Lurie Gallery in Chicago; and at Hallwalls in Buffalo.
Her work was featured in “Unorthodox” at the Jewish Museum, and in “Surrealism: The Conjured Life” at the Museum of Contemporary Chicago, both in 2015. Her work is included the collections of Michael Ovitz, Beverly Hills, California; The Kadish Foundation, San Francisco and Paris, France; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
Patrick Burton is well-known in Detroit artistic circles for his work as an artist, performance artist, DJ of house music, and all-round cultural warrior. He has long taught art in Detroit Public schools, treating his students as fellow artists.
His deliriously ornate paintings, created on wooden boards, are the glittering results of an elaborate creative process that stretches over months.
In creating a new painting, Patrick begins by meticulously measuring and designing his composition to the millimeter, then cuts and paints the work’s papier-mâché surface, before carefully applying the panoply of fluttering, free-spirited visual embellishments.
Patrick’s elegant, playful compositions reflect a daring artistic vision. The works’ epical dalliance with ornament, beauty, and romanticism is outright subversive.
Like the artist Florinne Stettheimer, one of his inspirations, Patrick is joyously out of step with current artistic trends. He is content to wait for the trends to catch up with him.
Tellingly, each work includes an epigraph centered on the painting’s lower edge. Mischievous and enigmatic, these “posies,” as Patrick calls them, pose as many questions as they answer: they are riddles. Paintings are graced with words such as “perchance,” “we two,” “yesterdays,” and “wouldja wouldja.” The wondrous paintings leave you happily wondering.