The Eye’s Mind

The first-ever solo exhibition by Drew Pate

On View: October 22–November 21, 2020
Gallery Hours: Wednesday–Friday, 4–7 PM; Saturday, 1–4 PM

Gallery 263 is thrilled to announce The Eye’s Mind*, the first-ever solo exhibition by Drew Pate. This show is part of Gallery 263’s Exhibition Proposal Series, a program in which exhibitions are selected by a competitive jurying process. In The Eye’s Mind, the artist invites the viewer to consider the phrase “to see with the mind’s eye.” Does the metaphysical eye in this expression conjure images and speak them to the artist’s eye, or is it the other way around? The work on view features the artist’s efforts to translate mental images into paintings rooted in geometric abstraction and influenced by nostalgia and the mundane.

These austere, graphic, and flat acrylic and flashe paintings often begin with an idea or impulse based on an arresting moment or experience that appears in the “mind’s eye,” such as how a window in the artist’s studio frames a view of a nearby brick wall. Pate allows intuition gained from his artist’s eye to guide him in refining the work from this original mental image: using tape, opaque colors, and thin glazes, the artist welcomes cause and effect.

Pate’s painting decisions draw inspiration from bold and vivid imagery and sounds from visual memories in his eye’s mind that revert to specific times and places: retro video games such as Pac-Man and Tetris; electronic music microgenres like “vaporwave”; architectural elements; textiles such as quilts and maritime flags; movies like Tron (1982); and Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel Dune (1965). Parallel and semi-transparent brushstrokes evoke weaving and time spent driving tractors back and forth for his father, a farmer. This work also utilizes historical techniques such as Hans Hofmann’s use of abstract shapes and colors to create illusion and Josef Albers’ color theory. In recent pieces, Pate references his work as a picture framer and considers the importance of sharp edges and boundaries during this time of social distance due to COVID-19. Ultimately, this process attests to the fact that this artist makes use of both his mind’s eye and artist’s eye to discover and create unique, one-of-a-kind abstractions.

About the Artist
Born and raised in Florida, Drew Pate received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Georgia Southern University in 2013. After living in rural southern communities for most of his life, he moved to New England in 2015 to attend Boston University. Pate received his Master of Fine Arts in Painting in 2016 and, in the same year, was the recipient of the Blanche E. Colman Award. His work has been featured at the Cambridge Art Association, Georgia Southern University, the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, the Charleston Music Hall, and the Midway Channel Gallery.

*This exhibition was originally planned for the spring of 2020. It was rescheduled due to COVID-19.

Gallery 263 advances the artistic endeavors of makers and performers, while fostering public engagement, enrichment, and exchange. Functioning as a creative nexus, Gallery 263 provides a contemporary voice for the arts in Cambridge and our regional communities.

Gallery 263 exhibits are free and open to the public.