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 Patrick Wadley  (1950 - 1992)

About: Patrick Wadley
 

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Lived/Active: Texas/New York/Oklahoma      Known for: glass etching, sculpture, painting drawing, printmaking

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BIOGRAPHY for Patrick Wadley
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Birth
1950 (Oklahoma)
 
Death
1992 (Austin, Texas)

Lived/Active
Texas/New York/Oklahoma

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glass etching, sculpture, painting drawing, printmaking

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Biography from Fred R. Kline Gallery, Inc.:
Submitted by Fred R. Kline, Fred R. Kline Gallery, Santa Fe

Patrick Wadley was born in Oklahoma in 1950 and died in Austin, Texas in 1992.  He studied briefly at the University of Oklahoma and Sam Houston State University. In the early 1970's, he made his home in Austin, where he had come to fulfill his alternative service as a conscienctious objector.

In 1980, he discovered glass etching when he accidentally dropped a soft drink bottle into a sandblaster.  He quickly transposed the use of stencils and air-brush techniques, which he had been using to design wrapping paper.  Covering glass with clear contact paper, he would "draw" directly on this resist with an exacto-knife.  When working with very thick glass, he achieved sculptural effects.  His immediate affinity for the medium and the momentum he gained working at Renaissance Glass Company resulted in his first one man show, at Matrix Gallery, in 1982.

While known primarily for his work in glass, Wadley was also an accomplished artist in other media, including sculpture, painting, drawing, and print-making.  In fact, some of his prints, such as those shown posthumously in "Day Without Art", at Laguna Gloria Art Museum in 1993, were made from etched-glass plates.

Reflecting his genuine interest in people, his subject is most often the human figure. Combining images from many cultures and times in unique, often fanciful ways, the majority of his pieces portray people in moments rich with detail, frequently evoking narratives as if the pieces are scenes excerpted from an opera. Even many of his later works, which express preoccupations with death and spirituality more seriously, maintain a certain whimsy amid the intensity.

His travels in Europe were significant influences, especially in France, where he lived for a while and which he visited frequently.  In addition to the museums and artists of France, he also enjoyed its literature, joie de vivre and light.  He found inspiration and sustenance in many other sources, including opera, Edith Piaf, Fellini, Nino Rota, the Bobs, Monty Python, and playing the clarinette.

Before his death in September 1992, his work with glass appeared in over 25 shows, across the United States, in Europe and in Japan.  His expertise in this medium was acknowledged with teaching positions at Pilchuck School and the New York Experimental Glass Workshop, where he was also Artist in Residence in 1986.

Wadley first received recognition for his complex etchings on two-dimensional glass panels and three-dimensional glass forms.  In New Work, the quarterly publication of the New York Experimental Glass Workshop, Wadley’s work was described as follows: "Regardless of form, Wadley pursues ever-refined values of light and dark in the shallow depth of glass.  Merging architectural spaces with tattooed torsos, and figure-ground ambiguity, Wadley’s figures literally show what’s on their mind, as bodies and objects spew forth in profusion."

His work is held in numerous private collections around the world, as well as the Blanton Museum (formerly the Huntington) at the University of Texas at Austin, the High Museum in Atlanta and the Museum of the Rhode Island School of Design.***



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