This painting belongs to Patrick Chamberlain's Kliun Series, so-named for the visual heritage the works share with early works by the Russian Suprematist painter Ivan Kliun, many of whose paintings were destroyed by a boarder who burned them for firewood when Kliun was forced to flee Moscow during World War II. This work also shares a name with one of the most famous works by the painter Titian, which shows the violent flaying of the pan flute player Marsyas. That painting has come to be thought of as an allegory for the departure of the soul from the body. In Chamberlain's paintings, visual cues may relate to various aspects of the story—such as the flute-like form at the top of the canvas, or the illusion that some elements are separating, or being pulled apart, from other elements in the composition. However, for Chamberlain such references are often not essential to a reading of the work, which can be done on a purely abstract or formal basis.
Artist Biography: Patrick Chamberlain (b. 1955, USA) employs a mixture of philosophy and formalism in his work. His visual language includes references to geometric and lyrical abstraction, as well as figurative and conceptual elements. Fluidly shifting between numerous styles and techniques, Chamberlain’s diverse oeuvre can appear chaotic when seen at disparate points. Shown collectively, his complex practice harmonizes. Marks and materials echo across surfaces with drastically different compositions, some pieces pure and others showing signs of infection as the styles corrupt each other.