Many people think of mathematics and fine art as being polar opposites: formulaic calculation verses creative intuition.  When a friend recently asked me a question about art, I think I created more confusion than clarity when I replied that, ultimately, it was about math: wave lengths of light, Fibonacci number sequences, ratios, etc…  Art can be understood by its mathematical properties.  Fortunately for those of us who do not think in numbers, appreciation does not require understanding.

Life is complex.  In an effort to respond to its infinite complexities, many people formulate simplicity by analyzing it in base-2 terms: good/bad, yes/no, male/female, us/them, yin/yang…

My recent work, though complex upon completion, is actually derived from the exploration of a multitude of base-2 relationships: warm/cool, order/chaos, shape/line, reading/looking, formal/narrative, illusionistic space/acknowledgement of surface…   As the work develops these concepts merge, overlap, compete, and synthesize into a dynamic visual amalgamation that presents as complexity, but is essentially the result of simple, direct dialogue between prescribed elements.  The most challenging aspect of this process for me, the artist, is to manage these conversations and be willing to sacrifice early developments of the composition in favor of newer strata of alteration as the painting progresses.  Loss and discovery yield completion.


Curator Statement

The artwork is complex. Line work, geometric shapes and text all converge to create a sense of commotion. Based on the title of the exhibition, we are given to believe the text will lead us through the turmoil to a better understanding of the artwork. The text does create a pathway into the space, but the result of what is found is more than an understanding of the artwork. The outcome is as a spectator watching and listening to the dialogue that is happening between its elements. The viewer is rewarded for investing time observing its many components for it is these components that allow for the examination of diverging concepts. The relationship between illusionistic space and the acknowledgement of surface is evident. The scale allows the viewer to enter the space, and within it occurs a discussion between the opposing elements of line and space, order and chaos, warm and cool.


Artist Bio

Born in Dayton, Ohio in 1952.  Graduated from Wright State University in 1989, BFA with concentrations in painting and printmaking.  Received a MFA from The University of Cincinnati in 1992 with a concentration in printmaking. Retired in 2020 from the position of Gallery Coordinator/Collections Curator at Sinclair Community College.

Has taught drawing, painting or printmaking at The University of Cincinnati, Wright State University, Antioch College, Central State University, The Dayton Art Institute, Rosewood Arts Center, and Sinclair Community College.

In 2011 was presented Wright State University, Department of Art and Art History, outstanding alum award.

An active, exhibiting artist with work in many public and private collections including The University of Cincinnati, Sinclair Community College, Indiana University East, Children’s Medical Center - Dayton, and The Montgomery County Office of Management and Budget.


Art Talk with Pat McClelland

Open to the Public, May 21st, 1:30pm

Pat will have a video presentation along with exploring three main topics

regarding his artwork.