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Max Patté’s first Wellington exhibition to light up your life in 3D

3 Sep 2015

Artist Max Patté is set to have his first ever Wellington exhibition at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery, Shed 11 on Customhouse Quay. The Max Patté Experience runs from 12 to 27 September.

solace in the wind sculpture
Solace in the Wind

The man responsible for launching a thousand gropes of a cast iron bum is about to have his first ever Wellington art exhibition which includes a series of 3D printed titanium sculptures and light installations.

Artist Max Pattéis perhaps best known for Solace in the Wind, a 2m tall cast iron sculpture of a man leaning into the wind on Wellington’s waterfront. It has been voted Wellington’s favourite sculpture and has featured in countless photos, often showing smitten locals and visitors alike getting to grips with the statue’s ‘rear’. Now, the former Weta Workshop’s head of sculpture is set to have his first ever Wellington exhibition at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery, Shed 11 on Customhouse Quay. The Max PattéExperience runs from 12 to 27 September.

Patté is following Wellington’s well-trodden path of artistic collaboration and hi tech ingenuity by calling on the skill of Kiwi company Zenith Tecnica, which reputedly has the biggest 3D titanium printer in the world. Together they will create a series of six 3D printed titanium sculptures.

Cast iron works never before seen in Wellington include maquettes (small models of a sculpture) of Clydesdale Horses, called The Frolic & the Fancy, created in 2013. The full size works are featured at Sir Michael Hill’s the Hills Golf Club near Queenstown, which also has a Solace in the Wind sculpture.

Patté said creating sculptures was “like having a child and sending that child out there into the world to make its own way. “You put them out there and they take on their own patinas. They might get graffitied, which I’ve always likened to the human body getting a knock or two, injuries, scars. I really don’t mind any of that.”

The exhibition isn’t just about sculptures. Patté has moved in an exciting new direction to produce custom-built light works with the help of Pietro Marson, supervisor of Weta’s electronics and animatronics department.

The cutting-edge light works utilise a unique ‘micro-controller’ which adjusts the colour over 4 to 5 hours, creating a slow fade that is imperceptible to the eye. As the colour morphs, so does the mood of the room, which are essentially Patté-made interiors which fit inside the gallery. Patté describes these pieces as the “next generation” of light works which he began experimenting with in 2014.

He gained inspiration for his light installations from the distinctive skies of Wellington’s south coast where he regularly travels to and from his Island Bay home.

General admission to The Max PattéExperience is free. However, on 13 and 26 September Pattéwill present an hour long “Artist’s Talk” starting at 11am. Tickets cost $15 which includes light refreshments. 

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