Patricia Fernández | Notes on Looking

Patricia Fernandez “A Record of Succession”

Hmm. “From the collection of Rebecca: You must have seen the greatest change” (sewn buttons on linen, 2012) might be a sampler, a piece made to show off a selection of buttons. And “From the collection of Rebecca: Covers” – what sort of geometry is this? I see a triangle, or it might be a forked bird foot drawn, painted with buttons on blue fabric. A line of dark blue embroidery thread closes the triangle and above this a similar black line overscores it. It brings to my mind Native American symbols for the sky. Two white buttons “fill” the triangle and I think now that Patricia Fernández is using white – the color – as a material, and that another artist might use a metallic finish or a mirror. While white lacks the reflective quality, still it throws light and catches my eye. I wonder about the use in art of reflection as a stand-in for the self, and whether the void of white can accept identity in the same manner. I find impressions of buttons in the color of the fabric, these could be sun bleached over time or hard pressed by the artist (I picture her, weary from cutting into wood her trademark “x” pattern, laying her heavy hands on these buttons, thus still at work even in rest.) Elsewhere among these small paintings I find impressed small flowers. I wonder about squares that I see, like pockets on aprons these are, but they look gouged as in solid color – it’s interesting that fabric, linen, soaked through with different hues resembles less a painted on...