"Huron (Great Lakes)" by Patrick Fitzgerald

W: 11.75" D: 2.0" H: 14.75"
Oil on Wood
Mixed Materials
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This abstract work by Chicago artist Patrick Fitzgerald is one of 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 "Huron," 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 "Huron" is a meandering loop of blue and gray stripes, brushed in a cool palette that recalls the dark waters of Lake Huron. The painted lines show spots of imperfection, as though chipped and worn from many passes around the track. These lines are traced by a scrap of rusted wire that seems to guide their path, elevating the composition with timeworn texture and subtle three-dimensionality. The work is backed by a collage of yellowed advertisements sampled from a 1945 industrial directory, the source of inspiration for many of Fitzgerald's soap box cars and jackets.

Oil paint, collage, wire and nails on wood panel. Mounted in distressed frame.

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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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“PAGODA RED was extremely supportive in helping to pull accessory options together for the Lake Forest Showhouse. After providing them with details and our vision on how we were looking to finish our space, Laurene helped curate options that made it easy for us to edit and finalize. It's also no surprise that the unique pieces we used in our showhouse space were some of the first to sell.”

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