Richard Patterson Painted Minotaur 1996–7

Artwork details

Painted Minotaur
Date 1996–7
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 2083 x 1582 x 52 mm
Acquisition Purchased with assistance from Evelyn, Lady Downshire's Trust Fund 1997
Not on display

Display caption

Richard Patterson takes miniature toy figures, smears them with multicoloured paint and then photographs them against a variety of backgrounds. These photos are in turn daubed with more pigment. Patterson's large-scale paintings are meticulous copies of the resulting photographs.

The blurred background contrasts with the painstaking detail of the minotaur and the paint splashes. This confuses the distinction between abstract and representational areas of paint. By enlarging his little minotaur to grandiose proportions, Patterson gives a kitsch, plastic toy both sinister and slightly absurd overtones.

September 2004