Sarah Pater

Region: Northeast


City / State: Philadelphia, PA

Given the current situation of rapid image production, consumption, and instrumentalization, painting’s insistence on singularity and a more “composed” gaze—one that asks the viewer to re-read—stands out as significant and potentially liberating. Reclaiming the physical experience of vision and the sensation of duration are some of my modest hopes for painting. My current work refers to experiences in everyday spaces—the aesthetics of boredom and attention blur into office-leisure-domestic design, mediated by the ubiquitous inherited values of American modernism. The paintings allude to shadows on empty walls, Venetian blinds, windows, paper lying on a desk, fluorescent lighting, laptop screens, and various times of day, seemingly on loop.

With this project I seek to synthesize, question, and contradict some of the historically proposed tasks or utilities for painting: as discursive medium, as device for narrative, as record of subjective experience, as symbolic image, as research tool, and as expression of unconscious or spiritual practice.