I was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Cornell University in 1983 with a BA in French linguistics and a BFA in printmaking. After living and working in San Francisco and Philadelphia, I moved to New York in 1988 and earned an MFA in painting from the School of Visual Arts. Following graduation, I had a studio for eleven years in the Meatpacking District. In 2001 I moved my studio to the Westchester Arts Council building in White Plains, New York. My focus is on painting; I have also done extensive work with monoprints for the past twelve years at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Connecticut and the Women's Studio Workshop in upstate New York.
I approach painting as a diaristic language that is informed by my environment and my experiences. It is a means of self-exploration, a way of leaving an imprint, a visual residue. Although I have flirted with painting landscapes and still lifes, I always come back to abstraction; painting nonobjectively allows me to draw from personal experiences while concentrating on the formal qualities of paint. My sources of inspiration are varied: a visit to an aquarium at night, the glaciers in Alaska, the shapes of the machinery on Dumbo's ride in Disney World, the patterns made by sunlight on the wall, the sense of concentrated awareness of one's body in space and time.
The paintings are composed of fluid, organic forms, often derived from the human body or landscape, which crowd together, float, or overlap, creating eccentric compositions filled with color and light. These abstract shapes hover on the verge of becoming recognizable objects, evoking stories about themselves that are just outside the grasp of full detection. Forms surface and submerge, press against one another as if for support or as if magnetically, sexually attracted. Idiosyncratic markings disrupt and energize the surfaces and the solidity of the shapes, imbuing the paintings with a quirky sense of humor and quality of anticipation, inviting viewers to enter. [End Page 434]
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Patricia Spergel studied at Cornell University and the School of Visual Arts. Her work has been featured in New American Paintings and the New York Times, and her paintings are among the collections of Citigroup, Sanford Bernstein, and Bank of America. She has participated in numerous national group exhibitions and been featured in solo shows at the Tjaden Gallery and elsewhere. Her work can be seen at Kenise Barnes Fine Art and Heather Gaudio Fine Art. She currently lives and works in Westchester County, New York.