Equalising the pressure- Patty Hudak’s recent show

Here is a look at Patty Hudak’s recent show at Being 3 at the plastics factory , Nan Gao, north of CaoChangdi in Beijing. The American artist (she also is Irish) has been living in Beijing for 7 years . Most of the work shown here was made in the last 2 years.

The show was curated by Catherine Cheng.



Sailing to Byzantium is a huge textile painting 25 m x 3 m and was originally conceived for IRISH WAVE 2015 exhibition – “Golden Fleece” which interlaced the poem by WB Yeats of the same name.


Sailing to Bysantium copy

The poem tells of a journey to the orient in search of something that can endure for generations expecting to find some kind of spiritual revelation and concludes that the best way to commemorate life is through art.


The huge installation has perfect breathing space. The black ink lines pulse with life and ordered chaos and bring to mind the great Master Shi Tao using Chinese ink brush painting was able to give vital energy qi to inanimate objects such as rocks and such.


Hudak has been obsessed by the black line since the 1980’s when she set up her studio in NewYork City.

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Since then she has made large numbers of different works based on her simple and elegant drawing language and in recent years her lines have become more weighed with interesting narratives emerging.





Patty Hudak Small world Turning and Turning in the Widening Gyre, 30x30cm, Oil and acrylic on wood




Turning Turning in a Gyre



Her paintings are more confrontational and challenging.


The five Chinese elements : metal wood water fire and earth are compact and anxious with frequent leaky drips perhaps acting as pressure valves so as to equalize pressure.

Showing here is the element “Fire”.

That is the interesting thing when I look at the work I feel there is a different atmospheric pressure in the plane of the paintings. Perhaps these drips reassure you that the atm has been equalized. One reviewer Viola described them as representing a wounded nature, an environment and climate altered by human activity ie pollution.


I love the way these tense works are displayed in the airy light space with the leaves dancing outside the window panes.




The artist is a dear friend and will be missed by Beijing art community as she leaves China later in the year.


Patty and Catherine


Patty Hudak with curator Catherine Cheng.