Ebony G. Patterson's multilayered practice in painting, sculpture, installation, performance, and video uses beauty as a tool to address global social and political injustices. Her immersive gardens grow out of a complex entanglement of race, gender, class, and violence. Patterson seduces the viewer into acknowledging a darker truth lurking ominously beneath the surface. Upon closer inspection, the figures in these embellished paper works are disembodied, un-whole. While the bright, effusive visual cues on the surface of her work suggest vivifying celebration, these signifiers point to the opposite. Their ghostly forms hover amidst a tangle of flora and fauna, plants which themselves might harbor a secret poison. Patterson’s gardens are never far from notions of violence, of memorial, of blood and tears.
Patterson (b.1981, Kingston, Jamaica) received an MFA degree in Printmaking and Drawing from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University St. Louis (2006) and a BFA in painting from Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica (2004). Patterson has taught at the University of Virginia; Edna Manley College School of Visual and Performing Arts; the University of Kentucky and was the Bill and Stephanie Sick Distinguished Visiting Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Notable solo and group exhibitions include Hales Gallery, London, UK; Nasher Museum at Duke University, NC; The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; The Brooklyn Museum, NY; Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, CA; HetHem Museum, Amsterdam, NE; Speed Art Museum, KY; moniquemeloche gallery, Chicago, IL; Watershed at ICA, Boston, MA; ICA San Jose, CA; the Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City, IN and the 2021 editions of the Liverpool and Athens Biennials. In 2022, Patterson was appointed as the first Susan Brennan Co-Artistic Director of Prospect.6, which will take place in Fall 2024.
Her work is in the public collections of The Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, IN; the High Museum, GA; SFMOMA, CA; 21c Museum and Foundation, Louisville, KY; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Nasher Museum, Duke University, Durham, NC; National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica; Pérez Art Museum Miami, FL; Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; among others. She has been the recipient of several awards and fellowships including the Tiffany Foundation Grant (2017) and the United States Artist Award, Painter, and Mixed Media Artist (2018). Patterson lives and works between Kingston, Jamaica and Chicago, IL.