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Max Patté: Into the Beyond

SEEN had the pleasure of catching up with New Zealand-based artist Max Patté recently and enjoyed viewing his latest sculptures and light installations, displayed to their very best advantage at a sunlit location in East London, just on the river.

SEEN had the pleasure of catching up with New Zealand-based artist Max Patté recently and enjoyed viewing his latest sculptures and light installations, displayed to their very best advantage at a sunlit location in East London, just on the river.

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Having worked as a prosthetist and model-maker on the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings films, Max began to create his own sculptures when he relocated permanently to NZ a few years ago. This exhibition showcased existential human figures, and some truly extraordinary light installations. Both styles of work seemed to be about striving for a glimpse of a life beyond this one.

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‘Twist’ comprised six slowly revolving figures with strange elongated limbs reminiscent of a double-helix. Beautifully made, these figures induced a contemplative state in this viewer. ‘ZZZ’s’, a geometric fibreglass figure, leant into an interior wall perhaps in an act of penance, while ‘Abyss’, arms crossed, contemplated his own mortality from a high plinth.

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It was the light installations that took SEEN’s breath away. ‘Sanctuary’ and ‘Deep In’ were almost fractal in their patterns, drawing the viewer further and further in. Whilst Haze #1, Haze #2 and Haze #3 were fathomless in their profundity, inducing, at first, a feeling of disorientation, then once the viewer becomes accustomed to them, a feeling of serenity; something I’ve only ever experienced whilst in the Rothko room at Tate Modern. SEEN fully expects to see more of Max’s work in London in the months to come.

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