The Happy Lion is very pleased to present an exhibition of photographs by Patrick Lakey titled Everything We Love is Going to Die. In this ongoing project, Lakey explores the landscape genre of the American West as a way to compose psychological spaces and ask the question: what are the meanings associated with place? Using large format negatives, and at times with the figure in the frame, Lakey traverses California’s diverse topographies creating elegant, highly detailed compositions. Fueled by the myth of the West and looking back to Carleton Watkins in the 19th century and Ansel Adams and Robert Adams in the 20th, Lakey stakes a claim for this subject today.
There is a quietude in these images that sets a tone for reflection. Stark, bold, and dense-- from panoramic vistas to skinned trees, from lush gardens to desolate deserts, Lakey’s landscapes shift between beauty and hopelessness, as might be fitting for any investigation of an American idiom in this day and age. The formal aspects of these photographs – black and white pigment prints on cotton rag paper, with rich inky blacks and lush details pervading each picture – both unify the series and encourage a deeper read. As the exhibition title suggests, this work is intensely personal. Everything We Love is Going to Die relates both to the inevitable cycle of life and to the artist’s psychology and mental states. Fear, love, anxiety are represented within the light and dark landscapes. The figures of children in one image bring ideas of conservation and preservation to the surface along with notions of innocence and danger. In another image a twisted thicket of tree trunks is an eerily accurate metaphor for an overloaded mind.
Patrick Lakey was born in Washington, DC in 1970. He received his BFA from University of Texas in Austin and his MFA from University of California, San Diego. He has exhibited extensively throughout the US and abroad including shows at Galerie Michael Janssen in Cologne, Timothy Taylor Gallery in London, and Jessica Murray Projects in NY. Lakey lives and works in Los Angeles.
The Happy Lion is located at 963 Chung King Road in Los Angeles. Gallery hours are Weds through Saturday, 12-6 and by appointment. For additional information or visuals, please contact the gallery at 213.625.1360 or firstname.lastname@example.org.