Patrick Saytour



November 17 - December 23, 2017

New York



ARTIST :
Patrick Saytour


 Patrick Saytour's distinctive vision of painting subjects unorthodox materials such as upholstery, tar, glue, wood, rope, plastic toys and canvas to procedures such as folding, cutting, clipping, hanging and burning. Like other works conceived in Paris and Nice during the intellectual and political upheaval of the late 1960s, Saytour's paintings–and these works are emphatically paintings–collapse surface and support, materializing both to render them contingent, historical, determined by their environment whether it be the white cube gallery or the streets and beaches of Nice.

A founding member of the Supports/Surfaces movement, Patrick Saytour holds a marginal and critical stance within the group. With deconstruction as paramount to his approach to painting–leaving aside politics and art historical canon–Saytour questions all the ingredients of faith within an artist and his practice. Nothing is taken for granted, and nothing is obvious.

Both the consistency of Saytour's approach and the diversity of its effects are evident in this exhibition, which unites pliages with tar on fabric–grids of symmetrical forms that show aleatory processes of folding and staining. An anarchical, discursive approach to materials is equally evident in the trophées of 2004, which use wood and particleboard–typically support elements–as cut out surface materials that hang suspended by string from the wall. Unlike a Tatlin counter-relief or a Tuttle construction, these trophies do not defy the laws of gravity or medium but subject them to the withering irony of Saytour's deconstructive gaze. A further statement of transgression and paradox is found in his recent brûlages, where fabric is stained, burned and perforated. These works have quasi-sculptural dimensionality yet they are visually pierced by the surrounding space and supporting walls, a material violation that enhances their optical dynamism. Here painting is at once an object of disinterested aesthetic contemplation and an Althusserian object of knowledge.

A founding member of the Supports/Surfaces movement, Patrick Saytour holds a marginal and critical stance within the group. With deconstruction as paramount to his approach to painting–leaving aside politics and art historical canon–Saytour questions all the ingredients of faith within an artist and his practice. Nothing is taken for granted, and nothing is obvious.

If any artist lends credence to Duchamp's provocative assertion that all paintings in the era of industrially manufactured pigments are "assisted readymades" it is Saytour, yet he nonetheless supplies the retinal stimulus that Duchamp decried, drawing him close to Matisse. Indeed, Saytour's humble, non-art materials and aggressive, ironic procedures have consistently balanced against the decorative effects that overwhelm some of his compatriots. We should be grateful, as today more than ever it is important to question what we look at, to distinguish between images and objects, surfaces and supports, as I'm sure Duchamp and Matisse would agree.

Liam Considine, October 2017.