Patecky Abstract Art Slated for Hallie Ford Museum

Composition #51 by Albert Patecky [photo by Bill Enos]Albert Patecky was a highly regarded Portland painter who helped introduce regional audiences to non-objective art. Although he was known for his paintings and prints of regional subject matter, Patecky flirted with abstraction during the late 1940s and '50s. A small exhibition of his experimental abstract work will run Oct. 29 to Dec. 22 at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University.

Born in Michigan in 1906, Patecky arrived in Portland in 1928 and worked as a cartoonist and illustrator during the 1930s and early '40s. An opportunity to study at the Art Students League in New York led him to the Museum of Non-Objective Painting--the forerunner of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum--where he was introduced to the work of Wassily Kandinsky, the Russian-born founder of the German Expressionist movement Der Blaue Reiter.

"Patecky was inspired by Kandinsky's nonrepresentational work," said John Olbrantz, museum director, "and created his own non-objective works, which were exhibited in the Museum of Non-Objective Painting for several years.

"Patecky was particularly interested in the clear geometric forms of Kandinsky's 1930s work and in the analogy Kandinsky drew between painting and music," Olbrantz said.

Organized by Willamette University Professor Roger Hull, the exhibition focuses on Patecky's work from the late 1940s to 1966. Works have been selected from a number of regional collections. In conjunction with the exhibition, an article on Patecky will be published in the September-October issue of American Art Review. Limited copies will be available at the museum.

"Albert Patecky: Abstractions" has been supported by a grant from the Oregon Arts Commission.

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is located at 700 State Street (corner of State and Cottage Streets) in downtown Salem near the campus of Willamette University. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The galleries are closed Sunday and Monday. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for seniors and students. Children under 12 are admitted free and Tuesday is an admission-free day. For further information please call 503-370-6855.