Andre Pater: In a Sporting Light
On view April 21 – August 13, 2017
MIDDLEBURG, Virginia – “Go beyond the mere image, and the painting becomes a ‘matter of light,’” notes sporting art authority Lorian Peralta-Ramos of contemporary sporting artist Andre Pater’s work. Peralta-Ramos, who is a National Sporting Library & Museum Board Member, lent her expertise as guest curator for the exhibition, Andre Pater: In a Sporting Light, working with the artist to identify over 45 works from private collections across the country.
“Light is movement,” Pater says. “I love what I do. I never count the hours I’m working in my studio. It’s pure joy. It’s fun. It makes me peaceful.” Pater remains passionate about his work after more than three decades as an artist: “It's my enthusiasm that brings light to my paintings.” The retrospective of Pater’s sporting art and accompanying exhibition catalog, with essays by Lorian Peralta-Ramos and the NSLM’s George L. Ohrstrom, Jr. Curator of Art Claudia Pfeiffer, highlight his mastery of the use of light and insightful understanding of animal anatomy, behavior, and motion.
The included works created between 1984 and 2015 represent a variety of sporting subjects that Pater has explored throughout his career: Polish sight hound hunting, jockeys in brightly-colored silks, winning Thoroughbreds, splashy racing starts, tranquil paddocks, pointers guarding the day’s bag, foxhunters meeting in a beautiful landscape, and hounds with expressive eyes.
Pater celebrated his Polish heritage in early works, infusing his historic and Arabian horse compositions with light and motion. He graduated summa cum laude from the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts with a degree in architecture, his first vocation. Drawing and painting equine subjects began as an avocation. He was fascinated by horses and showed innate talent at an early age.
Pater’s focus, style, and subject matter began to evolve upon coming to the U.S. in 1981. After six months in New York, he moved to Texas for an architectural position. He was inspired by the Arabians being bred there, the same breed of Poland’s historic bloodstock tradition. By 1984 he dedicated himself to painting Arabians full-time, and then in 1988 settled in Kentucky, the birthplace of the U.S. Thoroughbred industry and home of the Iroquois Hunt.
“Andre Pater has surged to the head of the pack among today’s contemporary sporting painters. He not only is an unrivaled master of his craft, he has the reputation and following to prove it,” notes Peralta-Ramos who is working on another project on the artist, the soon-to-be-published comprehensive book, Andre Pater: A Matter of Light.
The bold and vibrant compositions for which Pater has become extremely sought-after are often compared to those of the great 20th-century British sporting artist Sir Alfred Munnings. Like Munnings, Pater is a gifted draftsman, uses a lush palette, and is equally adept at landscape, figurative, and animal compositional elements. Although stylistic comparisons are inevitable, Munnings preferred open-air painting, while Pater’s technique represents the opposite. He is most at home in his studio working from sketches and photographs in an academic mode, perfecting his prized works in oil and pastel. Pater is not an emulator of his predecessor. He brings his unique and fresh perspective to the art that depicts sport and is a beacon of the genre. His refinement in pastels in addition to the classic medium of oil has solidified his rightful place as an eminent sporting artist in the 21st century.
The National Sporting Library & Museum (NSLM) is located in Middleburg, Virginia, the heart of beautiful hunt country. Founded in 1954, the research Library and art Museum highlight the rich heritage and tradition of country pursuits. Angling, horsemanship, shooting, steeplechasing, foxhunting, flat racing, polo, coaching, and wildlife are among the subjects offered in the general stacks, rare book holdings, archives, and art collection. Find more information at: www.nationalsporting.org
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