Patrick Eugène
Patrick Eugène in his Atlanta studio. Photo by: Erica J. Simmons

Haitian-American artist Patrick Eugène has been quite the one to watch within the contemporary art world. From showing at Art Basel, participating in major group shows across the country and abroad, spotlighted in prestigious art journals and platforms—Artsy, Whitewall, Sugarcane—to even a cameo on the Netflix series “#BlackAF. And now the Atlanta-based figurative painter is celebrating his debut solo exhibition with his gallery, Gallery 1957. Titled ‘Where Do We Go From Here?’, the show features a new body of work, a suite of figurative works, that convey Black figures in the midst of everyday life, through a slightly historical lens. Now on display at Gallery 1957 in beautiful Accra, Ghana, this show, in all its intricate colorfulness, finds Eugène, juxtaposing between historical nuances—and the emotional and physical bandwidth of creatives/cultural figures of yesterday—and his own introspective approach to creativity and self-care.

‘A Table For Two’, 2021. Acrylic on Canvas, 72 x 108 in. Patrick Eugène. courtesy of Gallery 1957 and artist.

As the son of Haitian immigrants, Eugène often incorporates African Diasporic connections between Haiti (the Caribbean), and North America within his intuitive practice that connects him to everyday people. His work is inspired by Black people in everyday life, often transposing photos of patrons in the streets of Atlanta into portraits that evoke the abstractionism of ancient Africa and the vibrant color palettes of Haiti—seen through his typical color palette of reds, yellows, oranges, green and blue. Much like his general art practice, ‘Where Do We Go From Here?’—which borrows its title from a 1967 book by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his final text—draws its subjects from archival images, transposed into the massive canvases on display. Figures lounging, enjoying a cup of tea, fellowshipping, writing, all practicing forms of self care. “Eugène leverages the beauty, bravery, brilliance, and boldness of Black artists of the past, presenting a compelling reminder of their living legacy” says curator Danny Dunson (of art platform/incubation residency, Legacy Brothers) per the show curatorial text. He then goes on to say ” It is clear that for this artist, the answer to Dr. King’s haunting question of “where do we go from here?” is found in imagining where one’s ancestors have already been”

‘Where Do We Go From Here?’ is an impressive offering from Eugène, one that stays true to his core practice while touching on his practice as a spiritual exercise of self-care. His expressive, at times abstractionist, figures take on stories and narratives of their own. Where Do We Go From Here, finds Eugène, exploring and reimagining dancers, poets, artisans and singers, within the domestic space, simply existing.

Check out a selection of works on display below:

 

Gallery 1957 has a curatorial focus on West Africa—as well as the African diaspora as a whole. Presenting a program of exhibitions, installations and performances by the region’s most significant artists, the gallery serves as a vital platform, promoting West Africa’s presence within the art scene by hosting ambitious exhibitions, providing resources for residencies and participating in international art fairs

Patrick Eugène, ‘Where Do We Go From Here?’  is on view now—September 18, 2021 at Gallery 1957’s Accra, Ghana Gallery.

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