"Superior (Great Lakes)" by Patrick Fitzgerald

$1,280 USD
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W: 24.0" D: 1.75" H: 15.25"
Oil on Wood
Mixed Materials
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This abstract work by Chicago artist Patrick Fitzgerald belongs to a series of “track paintings” that materialize the imagined tracks navigated by his miniature soap-box car sculptures. Inspired by slot-car racetracks, each painting depicts a meandering, yet cyclical path that twists and turns upon itself in an endless loop. Isolated from time and place, the painting achieves a sense of timelessness and draws a through line linking the past, the present, and the future.

Entitled "Superior," this track painting is one of five compositions inspired by the Great Lakes. Like all of Fitzgerald's works, the paintings are deeply responsive to his surroundings and encapsulate the unique industrial histories and geologic wonders of the American midwest. Fitzgerald describes his Great Lakes series as "a contemplation of these wondrous bodies of water that have impressed and mystified me beyond words since childhood. My desire within each work is to create the timeless quality of a relic imbued with nostalgia and emotive power."

The focal point of "Superior" is a meandering loop of thin, colorful stripes, contrasted by a dark blue-black field that recalls the deep waters of Lake Superior. Like beams of light cutting through darkness, the rainbow track twists and turns to fill the surface, surrounded by round forms reminiscent of floating air bubbles. At once bright and colorful yet dark and mysterious, "Superior" evokes the sensation of being underwater, painted to resemble "a track that is submerged or beneath a surface, but illuminated and glowing." Fitzgerald's inspiration for this work comes from his formative memory of the sinking of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, a Great Lakes freighter that was downed by a massive storm over Lake Superior in 1975. That such an impressive ship could succumb to nature's power was unthinkable, and the memory of that shocking news has stirred his imagination ever since.

Oil on panel. Mounted on wood frame with structural hardware.

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Patrick Fitzgerald

b. 1962, Grand Rapids, MI

Chicago artist Patrick Fitzgerald refers to his body of work as his “Neighborhood of Infinity,” a borrowed term used literally to describe the bounty of materials and creative inspiration he found in the industrial landscapes of his youth. For the last decade, Fitzgerald has been mining his early experiences, re-envisioning the mechanical world of his childhood through the eye of an artist.


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