BRUCE H PATTERSON

Exposure 14:4
December 1976

Showcase
By: William Jenkinsimage

The Southwest - we all know - is a land of important and long - standing photographic tradition. Only f/64 and smaller can properly render that vast landscape. Only the 8x10 negative can completely detail all that sand and cactus. So who is this guy who apparently thinks nothing of roaring through Sommer's backyard without so much as a how-de-do, giving Caponigro a raspberry in Santa Fe where he has gone to rattle Newhall's front door carrying an arm full of these huge, scratchy pictures? A student of Tom Barrow? Obviously, but Barrow cancels, while Patterson asserts. The student is quite proper in embracing the teacher's technique while subverting his intentions.

"One day I was reading the New York Times - Hilton Kramer on figurative painting. He was talking about being able to identify the subject of the painting. Two photos were on the wall (30 x 40). One of an Arizona landscape, the other a New Mexican. I said to myself how would anyone know one was N.M. the other Ariz. So I corrected the problem. I wrote Tucson, Arizona across the Arizona landscape and Santa Anna across the N. Mex. That began the words."

Bruce Patterson

In the same way as the inclusion of words identifies Patterson's photographs, the process of their inclusion informs the
work. The words have been scratched into the negative; they have become part of the image itself, what the picture is
about. It may seem irreverent to mutilate the negative and alter the print - a rejection of the holiness (and wholeness)
of the photographic image. For Patterson, though, it is more of a celebration of the image through a manual participat-
ion in its creation.

Bruce Patterson was born in 1950 in Dayton, Ohio. He received his BA in Art History from Haverford College in
1973 and spent the following year in Europe studying painting on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. His MA is from
the University of New Mexico, 1976.

Robert Freidus Gallery Catalogue
1973Desert Image

Bruce Patterson:

Born: Dayton, Ohio 1950. BA: Haverford College, 1973. MA: University of New Mexico, 1976. Thomas Watson Fellowship, 1973-1974.

Selected Exhibitions: Rochester Institute of Technology, 1977, 1979; University Art Museum, University of New Mexico,
1978.

Selected Collections: International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House; University of New Mexico.

Bruce Patterson's work ranges from 8" x 10" Polacolor photographs to 16" x 20" and 30" x 40" black and white photographs. He takes traditional landscape photography and proceeds to destroy them by ripping, painting and writing on the pictures. Patterson combines fragments of photographs with bits of aluminum foil and tape, leaving ragged and mismatched edges. Through such manipulation, Patterson challenges the historical expectations of photography as a truthful, unbiased means of communication. He is highly suspicous of the idea that one believes what one sees, and regects the holiness of the photographic image.

Issue 17: Picture Magazine
Contemporary Hand Colored Photography

Bruce Patterson:

Bruce Patterson is one of a most uncommon species: businessman-artist. In his spare time, Bruce produces art that has been exhibited in six, one-person and numerous group shows since 1972.

He is a graduate of Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania, where he earned his BA. He studied with Arnold Newman, Stephan Shore, and Garry Winogrand at Cooper Union, New York City in the summer of 1974, and received his MA from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, in 1976.

Among the institutions that include Bruce's work in there permanent collections are the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, Rochester, and the San Fransisco Museum of Modern Art.

His images in this issue were reproduced from 4 x 5 transparencies of the 30" x 40" originals.

 

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