Themes and Variations
October 8, 2015–November 29, 2015
Reception Oct 8th 7 – 8:30
Gallery tour/talk Oct 8 at 5 PM
Free for Members
For more than 30 years Patrick Nagatani has been sharing his narratives through the photographs he makes. Nagatani’s images take you on fascinating journeys that explore history, personal philosophy, culture, spirituality, fantasy and reality. Images from seven major bodies of work that Nagatani has completed are presented at the Griffin Museum as well as a literary and photographic novel, “The Race,” that he is currently creating with other artists.
Nagatani’s exhibition, Themes and Variations, is featured in the Main Gallery, Atelier Gallery and Griffin Gallery at the Griffin Museum in Winchester October 8 through November 29, 2015. An opening reception with the artist takes place on October 8, 7-8:30 p.m. Patrick Nagatani will give a gallery talk and tour of Themes and Variations at 5:00 PM. The talk is FREE for members, $10 nonmembers.
“….For Nagatani, a photograph could be more than a document of reality. He made photographs, used mixed media — always trying to stretch photographic conventions,” says Barbara Hitchcock, curator and organizer of the exhibition Patrick Nagatani: Themes and Variations, an independent Curator and former Curator of the Polaroid Collection.
Patrick Nagatani says, “There’s a certain edge to photography that’s really restricting.” He goes on to say, “It’s a controlled medium, especially in the process. And I just want to throw that control out as much as possible.”
Once a graduate student of Robert Heinecken’s at UCLA, Nagatani’s resistance to the constraints of traditional photographic practice is in keeping with his training. Time spent in Hollywood learning from models and sets for movies, among them Blade Runner and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, also influenced his desire to push boundaries. He envisioned a more expansive, plastic kind of photography.
For his creative photography, Nagatani has received numerous awards, among them, the Aaron Siskind Foundation Individual Photographer’s Fellowship, The Kraszna-Krausz Award for his book Nuclear Enchantment, the Leopold Godowsky Jr. Color Photography Award, the Eliot Porter Fellowship in New Mexico, the California Distinguished Artist Award from the National Art Education Association, and National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artist Fellowships in 1984 and 1992.
A professor of Art and Art History at the University of New Mexico where he taught for 20 years, Nagatani retired in 2006. The Society of Photographic Education conferred upon him the Honored Educator Award in 2008, and, in 2003, New Mexico’s then Governor Bill Richardson presented Nagatani with the “Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.” Nagatani has served as a panelist for the Illinois Art Council, Southern Arts Federation, Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, California Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He remains an active member of the Atomic Photographer’s Guild.
Patrick Nagatani: Themes and Variations was partially drawn from Desire for Magic – Patrick Nagatani 1978-2008, the exhibition and monograph, curated by Michele M. Penhall, Curator of Prints and Photographs at the University of New Mexico Art Museum, Albuquerque. That exhibition traveled to the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles and was exhibited at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences of West Virginia.
The Griffin Museum of Photography is pleased to offer a distinctive and expanded version of the initial exhibition.