“If we want to get more things done we need to simplify, and there lies the value of a good diagram – a simple visual representation of a strategy, thought or idea”
- Tracy De Groose, CEO Carat UK
A diagram can be small but instrumental. Usually used to visualize the understanding of a complex idea, to simplify, it’s scaled for the head, but when thought of in relation to the body it might seem less instructive.
Simplification can also be a form of suppression, and when so much information must be simplified to be useful, what are we left dealing with and what is left out? Using diagrams as a structural touch point, Patrick Howlett’s new paintings continue to build on the processes developed in his last few shows with the gallery, mapping movement, information and systems of abstraction as they accumulate into images. Content does not settle into its form, instead it is layered and juxtaposed in a compositional choreography of distemper, egg tempera and oil paint. It transforms into a layered meditation of embodied ideas as opposed to a schematic representation of data. Things begin to overlap and become interrelated, and instrumental clarity is obfuscated. The use of diagrams develops into the compositional entry into abstraction.
Patrick Howlett was born in Toronto in 1971. He earned his BFA from Concordia University in 1997 and his MFA from the University of Victoria in 2006. Past exhibitions include Improving Your Squash, G Gallery, Toronto; Patrick Howlett: Part-Time Offerings, Museum London, London; review, Khyber Institute for Contemporary Art, Halifax; Facts about Digestion, Yellow Box Gallery, St. Thomas University, Fredericton; and Doubled Confluence, Atelierhof Kreuzberg, Berlin.