Patrick Kikut: Square States in the Hatton Gallery

“For the last 30 years I have been exploring and producing studio work that is inspired by my travels through out the West.  I consider the whole of the West as my “artistic neighborhood.”  Geographically speaking, I define this as an area that reaches from Great Falls, Montana in the North, to Reno, Nevada in the West, down South to Marfa, Texas, and out to Dodge City, Kansas to the East.  As I explore this vast landscape I have engaged in the interaction of our ever-encroaching culture upon the edges of wilderness. This “tidal zone” between culture and nature is far from the awe-inspiring screenshot perfection found in our National Parks, Monuments, and Forests. Here, behind the truck stops, and wind-damaged billboards I discover discarded big gulps, busted tool boxes, and wrecked derby cars scattered over the parking lot and onto the dry and frozen land.  Often these landscapes read like empty stage sets where props are strewn about as the actors have finished their narrative and exited the scene.  In this body of work I hope that a viewer can enter into these spaces and get a sense of the rugged and enduring beauty of the West as well as our persistent attempts to exploit and survive on a landscape that is mostly inhospitable and unsustainable for the huge demands of our contemporary culture.”

-Patrick Kikut