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Some Uncanny Effects With Color

by Thomas Albright - San Francisco Chronicle, Wednesday, October 6, 1971, page 61

Artists have been experimenting with everything from film to lasers in an effort to extend the artistic experience further into the dimension of time. A painter named Taylor Fitzpatrick whose works are on display at the Lucien Labaudt Gallery, 1407 Gough Street, San Francisco, manages to compete with the very best of them, using only the traditional materials of paint and canvas.

Fitzpatrick's secret is, color. He has some highly distinctive theories about color juxtapositions which, among other things, produce such uncanny effects as causing a painting to all but disappear.

I first encountered Fitzpatrick's work at a party a year or so ago - at which, incidentally, nothing more hallucinogenic than a brandy was served - where I was told to fix my eyes on the canvas for a full minute and see what happened. What happened was that a sequence of horizontal bands that appeared to be orange, brown, pink and so on began first to dematerialize and fluoresce and eventually to cancel one another out and neutralize into the background.

I mention this because one doesn't ordinarily concentrate on a painting for this length of time, and there is nothing in the gallery instructing you to do so, though there is one painting of this kind, the colors of which swim in and out of your focus of vision with a wondrously lyrical effect.

The other paintings of Fitzpatrick on display do nothing quite so incredible, but work in a more dramatic manner. In some, he sets symmetrical geometric forms in yellow amid fields of blue, across which the yellow jumps and pulsates and creates shimmering, mirage-like ghost images.

Other paintings deal with asymmetrical shapes in darker hues, and here the concern is more with the expansion of forms into lateral space, in vigorous rhythms of thrust and balance.

In still others, areas of flat color hang above spaces in marbled black and white. I do not want to leave the impression that these paintings operate solely on the level of optical legerdemain, for they do not. The best of them - and that is most of them - extend the perceptual experience into not only the dimension of time, but a dimension of choreography, of crescendo and diminuendo, swell and ebb, and become a form of visual music.


Copyright © 2006 Taylor Fitzpatrick Art Preservation Trust. All Rights Reserved.