Ebony G. Patterson

Ebony G. Patterson


Ebony G. Patterson is a prolific mixed-media artist whose multilayered works incorporate painting, sculpture, video, and performance. She employs vibrant colors and lavish floral motifs to seduce viewers into deeper reflections on social and political injustices. Her work, which often places disembodied figures hidden among decorative tapestries, suggests acts of violence and oppression are lurking beneath the ornamental surface.

To create the large-scale tapestries for which she is famous, Patterson conducts photoshoots with locals from her neighborhood in Kingston, Jamaica, giving them specially designed props and costumes and placing them within opulent sets. She then prints the images on heavy paper or hand-woven jacquard, manipulating and embellishing the material until the figures are buried within the opulent jewels and lavash flora and fauna.

Patterson’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at prominent art institutions, including the Perez Art Museum Miami, Speed Museum of Art, Nasher Museum of Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, Studio Museum in Harlem, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Museum of Art and Design NY, Kunsthal Aarhus in Denmark, and most recently at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis which travelled to the ICA San Jose. She has been included in prestigious global exhibitions including the Liverpool Biennale 2021, Athens Biennale 2021, São Paulo 2016, Havana Biennia 2015, Ghetto Biennial Haiti 2009, and Jamaica Biennial 2007, 2010, 2014.

Her works also are in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Virginia Museum of Fine Art; and the National Gallery of Jamaica, among other institutions. A special installation of her work is on view at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University from November 2021 through spring 2022

Patterson has held teaching positions at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and was a tenured professor at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, where she was an associate professor of painting and mixed media.

In 2018, the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts recognized Patterson with the Stone & DeGuire Contemporary Art Award, which helps promising WashU alumni artists advance their studio practice. She also received a United States Artists award that year, given to the most compelling artists living and working in America. She has received numerous grants that support the continuation and evolution of her work, and was the recipient of the Joan Mitchell Award, and the Young Alumni Award at the 2011 Sam Fox School Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Patterson earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Edna Manley College in 2004 and her Master of Fine Arts in printmaking and drawing from the Sam Fox School in 2006.

Photo courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Image: Frank Ishma