January-February 2013 | MATTERS OF THE ART

Patrick Henry with his wife Vonda and daughter Stephanie
Karen Prengaman and Patrick HenryMATTERS OF THE ARTPatrick Henry’s latest series, “My Eastern Shore: In Different Lights,” is also in book form and available at The Globe for $25. Patrick Henry

ARTISTICALLY SPEAKING

MATTERS OF THE ART

Artist Patrick Henry gives over to his Impressionist side in his latest exhibition, "My Eastern Shore: In Different Lights"

Written By: Nick Brandi | Photographer: GRANT L. GURSKY

On Nov. 17, Berlin artist Patrick Henry was once again found at his favorite local display haunt, The Globe, where the eatery’s upper level served as the venue for his latest exhibition, “My Eastern Shore: In Different Lights,” a decided continuation of his personal odyssey of artistic self-discovery.
 
Henry’s previous exhibition at The Globe, “Amusement,” (2011) certainly represented a radical philosophical departure for the locally renowned oil painter. There, he had shifted his subject focus from his beloved local scenics and landscapes to people and inanimate objects, employing not only a broader color palette but also previously uncharacteristic levels of linearity and clarity, if not dimensionality. The ultimate effect was more than bold; it was a strikingly beautiful yet disquieting foray into a Kafkaesque swirl of surrealism. Very un-Henry-like. At least it was.
 
At the time, he’d said, “I felt it was time to challenge … expectations by showing [people] there is more to me as an artist than just representational landscapes.”
 
Though “In Different Lights” certainly won’t be inspiring any nightmares, it is, in its way, just as dramatic a departure from the classic Henry tableau as “Amusement.” Here, Henry very self-consciously explores what could fairly be described as his Impressionist side, which apparently has been champing at the bit to break free for a while.
 
“‘My Eastern Shore: In Different Lights’ marks a turning point in my life,” Henry said. “For years I had expressed the Eastern Shore’s natural beauty and the dialogue between humankind and that environment through faithful renderings, but, over time, a deeper desire emerged. Now, simply chronicling a time and place isn’t enough for me. 
 
It is a matter of the heart, and as with matters of the heart, rather than try to explain it, I’ll simply act on it.”
 
And act he did, with 25 new works, created between fall 2011 and October 2012. The friends, patrons and supporters of Henry who turned out at the Globe seemed for the most part to admire and even endorse the latest leg of the 60-year-old’s artistic journey. There were, however, some among the roughly 250 attendees — including his lovely and devoted wife of 23 years, Velda — who have become so accustomed to the singular beauty of a Patrick Henry Eastern Shore landscape that seeing it retired, even for a bit, seems a shame.
 
“For the most part, I think people got it, which makes me very proud and happy,” Henry said with his trademark soft voice and warm smile. “They especially commented on the ways in which I used light differently than they’ve seen me use it before. I also extended my color palette for this exhibition, which they seemed to notice and appreciate on somewhat more of a subliminal level.” Henry reportedly sold several works over the course of the nine-day show, with prices that ranged from $2,800 to $3,500.
 
As one who has followed his work might expect, Henry has begun to attract attention outside of the Eastern Shore, with art dealers, gallery directors and patrons from places like Baltimore, New York and D.C. expressing an interest to see more. That’s why after his show at UMES in February and his unveiling at the brand-new Ocean City Art League building in March, Henry will devote the better part of the next year to his emerging “Cityscapes” collection, which, as the title implies, will focus on urban subjects.
 
“With ‘Cityscapes,’ I’m going to continue with the Impressionistic flavor I’ve been exploring and developing, but I also intend to do things with color, light and texture that I haven’t done before,” Henry shared. “I’m extremely excited about this next phase, and I can’t wait to get started.”
 
“My Eastern Shore: In Different Lights” is also available in book form, offering glossy high-resolution photos of Henry’s paintings accompanied by the poetic reflections of local writer and co-publisher Karen Prengaman. “My Eastern Shore: In Different Lights,” is also in book form and available at The Globe for $25. Email inquiries may be sent to 
 
 
 


There are no comments. Be the first to post a comment.