Orleans House Gallery presents the biggest ever retrospective of one of the UK’s leading black artists, Jamaican born Rudi Patterson (1933-2013).
With 91 paintings and featuring many unexhibited works from the artist’s private collection, this unique showing explores Rudi Patterson’s amazing legacy. From his mid-twenties Rudi lived in England, almost exclusively in West London. He composed mostly Caribbean scenes – vivid mountain landscapes, plantation villages, luxuriant tropical vegetation and crops, and still life beaches with rivers flowing onto them.
Rudi Patterson was also accomplished at abstracts and as a potter, and much of this work is on display for the first time, even though Rudi had 40 exhibitions on five continents in his lifetime. The exhibition is curated by the heritage expert and award winning broadcaster Wesley Kerr, who was a longstanding friend of the artist, and is also his co-executor.
Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Culture, Cllr Meena Bond, said:
“There’s no doubt that London enabled Rudi Patterson’s creative juices to flow. In early life Rudi Patterson was a successful model and actor, with an entry on the Internet Movie database, many theatre and film credits, modelling in the Swinging Sixties, bit parts in Z Cars and the Professionals, even appearing in a Michael Tippett opera. All in all he was a remarkable cross-cutting cultural figure – painter, potter, and thespian. The exhibition promises to be something truly special and I would urge as many people as possible to come along and discover his unique talents.”
Wesley Kerr, added:
“Rudi had an intensely powerful visual memory and sorting out the immense amount of work he left behind has thrown new light on his life, his great skill and the evolution of his oeuvre. At Leighton House there was a hugely positive response, and many sales. There’s no doubt that like all true artists he forged his own style and his best work is touched by genius, especially his instinctive use of colour and his powerful evocation of place.”
Patterson’s prolific output is testament to his tremendous creativity and interest in experimentation. He was self-taught and the exhibition contains dozens of Patterson’s landscapes and features works in gouache, watercolours and oils, ceramics, papier mache , although sadly none of his hand painted T shirts – as once worn by Freddie Mercury.
Runs until 22 March 2015.