Patrick Mahon was born in Winnipeg in 1957. He received his MFA from the University of British Columbia in 1991. Mahon has been teaching at the University of Western Ontario since 1995. His exhibition history includes public venues across Canada, including Museum London (London, ON), the Textile Museum and MOCCA, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (Toronto, ON), the Art Gallery of Hamilton (Hamilton, ON), the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (Lethbridge, AB), and the Kamloops Art Gallery (Kamloops, BC). International shows have taken him to the China, France, the Czech Republic, Scotland, Italy and England. By using a variety of printmaking techniques and materials such as vinyl, plexi-glass and wallpaper, Mahon has developed installation projects with a strangely ordered character that are commercial in feel but have the poetry of something maintained in a state of suspended animation.
Conjuring ‘vessels’ that invoke ideas of art practice as a ‘critical voyage,’ and notions of shifting human-nature relations in contemporary times, the works are embellished with a cacophony of digitally-generated details. Mahon produced a series of small-scale maquettes, based on the idea of the shipwreck, as well as a series of five large-scale versions. The six 'shipwreck studies' from the exhibition,'Voyager' (McMaster Museum of Art, 2013), were also presented as a series of plexi-glass 'boxed' artifacts shown on purpose-built tables.
Towers & Table Work
Forms based on images of water towers and on pictures of built supports used in such invasive practices as coal mining (i.e., mining tipples) interplay in abstract arrangements where structures and flows co-mingle. Made of printed wood, the wall-based structures are meant to suggest a dialogue of forms that transit between printmaking and sculpture, as well as between representation and abstraction.
The Water Memory Table emerges from the artist's investigations into the historical record of the flooding of the Red River in Southern Manitoba, and an impulse to manifest a poetic object that speaks simultaneously of the human need to 'structure' our engagements with natural forces, and about the precariousness of human-nature interrelations in general.
Water & Tower
In this series of wall-dependent and floor-based works which invoke water as both a natural and socially inscribed material, and towers as paradigms of human enterprise, Mahon has created works where structure and flow, solids and liquids, interplay to produce provocative forms. Mahon's materially intense objects, printed on wood in deep hues and with subtle references to the grid, are mounted on plexiglas such that they appear to float off the wall. Other pieces run across the floor in surprising and poetic configurations.
Works on Glass