Pat Lipsky – Two works

Pat Lipsky, Red River Valley #5, 2004

The work is all about volumes of color. These volumes are set within a framing edge establishing the sense that these forms inhabit a universe distinct and separate. The color forms share a basic tall rectangular shape, creating unity, even seriality. The seriality leads to rhythmic sensations of color change. The forms exert their character most actively in the mid-height region where we scan along a series of meeting places between upper and lower level shapes: this creates a sense of pushing or movement. Lipsky works methodically from numerous small oil paint studies on paper. The analysis of composition proceeds with a rigor akin to mathematics.


Lipsky states: “I am very interested in issues like scale, orientation, color, and composition. It is how I spend my days. Drawing the composition directly on the gessoed canvas sets up how the work will look. The intuitive moments happen throughout the process because I am constantly adjusting colors, up and down the value scale, and also in terms of hue, and intensity. I never know exactly how a color is going to dry so I have to take that into account. I am making intuitive decisions until the end, the biggest being when to stop – ’is this as good as I can get it?’ I also hope to improve on the color studies, so they are somewhat preliminary guides.”


Context conditions our reception of color.

Pat Lipsky, ‘Bourges’, 2000, 64.5 x 75.5 inches, 163.8 x 191.8 cm., alkyd, oil and acrylic on canvas

In ‘Bourges’, Lipsky drenches our senses with alternative values and saturations of closely aligned hues. Each hue, seen in another setting, might evoke sky. But in this painting, the overwhelming focus is an analysis of blue-ness with regard to a rhythmic composition. Reference to nature is eliminated almost completely in favor of an intellectual/optical research.

See more of the work of Pat Lipsky here.