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Photo Realism by Elizabeth Patterson at Louis Stern Gallery

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Fantastic photo realistically rendered pencil drawings by local LA artist Elizabeth Patterson are a must see.  The view point is from the inside of a car and all the more meaningful since so many of the images are of Los Angeles, and most Angelenos spend a lot of time driving. Seen through drops of rain on a windshield in the day or night, the implication is we see our outside world through the effects of exterior forces.  The technique is fascinating in itself, but the composition and color are just as interesting.  The overall effect is dreamy and creates worlds within worlds as each raindrop is like it’s own tiny abstract painting.

Ms. Patterson stopped doing art after a severe auto injury.  Thirteen years later she took up drawing again and eventually retired from her position as a computer analyst to do art full time.  Perhaps returning to art after such a long break gave her a unique perspective because as LA Culture Monster writes “Photo-Realism enjoyed its 15 minutes of fame in the early 1970s and then faded into the background. Today, it stands out as one of the few movements from those heady days that a new generation of artists has not recycled, rehashed or riffed off of.” Patterson has said that she is continually fascinated by sunlight, rain and reflections of neon signs on cars because she is interested in “the mystery of real distortions” which she portrays with such clarity and freshness.

The show is running through August 28 at Louis Stern Fine Arts, which is on Melrose in the heart of the Weho Avenue of Art and Design.  The gallery has a special concentration in Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern and Latin American art, and has offered works by Degas, Gauguin, Giacometti, Leger, Matisse, Monet, Picasso, Pissarro, Ramos Martinez, Renoir, Rivera, Tamayo and Villon.