Nagatani Ir2022.228 Renault Alpine Ryoichi Excavation Photo Jarvis Lawson
Patrick Nagatani
Renault Alpine, Wilkes Land, Antarctica from the Nagatani/Ryoichi Excavation Series 1985-2000, 1998
Ilfochrome print
17 1/2 x 22 3/4 inches
Racine Art Museum, Gift of Paul Harbaugh Family
Photography: Jarvis Lawson

RAM Showcase: Patrick Nagatani

January 31 – October 12, 2024
at Racine Art Museum

I am interested in how the photograph is also recognized less as a window on the “real,” and far more as a malleable picture space—constructed and contrived for the purpose of examining representation rather than reality. I am interested in the potential of photography to tell a story.

Patrick Nagatani (1945 – 2017) was an artist committed to investigating the possibilities of photographic technology. Employing hand-coloring, multiple printings, and constructed scenarios, Nagatani built his photographic narratives through props, careful direction, and image manipulation. In addition to challenging the “truth” associated with photography, he touched on social, cultural, and personal issues, including nuclear power, myth-making, Chromatherapy, Japanese Americans, and the self.

A former faculty member at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, Nagatani obtained his MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles, and worked in Hollywood special effects for some time on movies such as Blade Runner and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. He was encouraged toward photography through a college drawing class. He went from creating photographic, technically precise drawings to understanding the emotional power available through photography-based image making.

RAM was gifted over 30 works by Nagatani in 2022. Comprised of pieces spanning multiple decades—specifically 1977 – 2006—the archive features various types of photographs, including 20 x 24 Polaroid prints created with a relatively rare Polaroid camera. This exhibition debuts selections from the archive in stages—consecutively showcasing the Nagatani/Ryoichi Excavations Series, Chromatherapy Series, and works related to nuclear power.

More About the Exhibition

Exhibition Notes (PDF)

Press Room

RAM Showcase: Patrick Nagatani

January 31 – October 12, 2024
at Racine Art Museum
Nagatani Ir2022.228 Renault Alpine Ryoichi Excavation Photo Jarvis Lawson
Patrick Nagatani
Renault Alpine, Wilkes Land, Antarctica from the Nagatani/Ryoichi Excavation Series 1985-2000, 1998
Ilfochrome print
17 1/2 x 22 3/4 inches
Racine Art Museum, Gift of Paul Harbaugh Family
Photography: Jarvis Lawson

I am interested in how the photograph is also recognized less as a window on the “real,” and far more as a malleable picture space—constructed and contrived for the purpose of examining representation rather than reality. I am interested in the potential of photography to tell a story.

Patrick Nagatani (1945 – 2017) was an artist committed to investigating the possibilities of photographic technology. Employing hand-coloring, multiple printings, and constructed scenarios, Nagatani built his photographic narratives through props, careful direction, and image manipulation. In addition to challenging the “truth” associated with photography, he touched on social, cultural, and personal issues, including nuclear power, myth-making, Chromatherapy, Japanese Americans, and the self.

A former faculty member at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, Nagatani obtained his MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles, and worked in Hollywood special effects for some time on movies such as Blade Runner and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. He was encouraged toward photography through a college drawing class. He went from creating photographic, technically precise drawings to understanding the emotional power available through photography-based image making.

RAM was gifted over 30 works by Nagatani in 2022. Comprised of pieces spanning multiple decades—specifically 1977 – 2006—the archive features various types of photographs, including 20 x 24 Polaroid prints created with a relatively rare Polaroid camera. This exhibition debuts selections from the archive in stages—consecutively showcasing the Nagatani/Ryoichi Excavations Series, Chromatherapy Series, and works related to nuclear power.

Sample of Work in the Exhibition

Click/tap an image for more information

Exhibitions at RAM are made possible by:

Platinum Sponsors

The Estate of Karen Johnson Boyd
David Charak
Judith and David Flegel Fund
Ron and Judith Isaacs
Nicholas and Nancy Kurten
Racine Community Foundation logo
Windgate Foundation

Diamond Sponsors

City of Racine’s Grow Racine Grant
Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation
Ruffo Family Foundation
Ruth Arts Foundation

Gold Sponsors

Anonymous
Tom and Irene Creecy
Richard and Patricia Ehlert
Trio Foundation of St. Louis
W.T. Walker Group, Inc.
Wisconsin Arts Board

Silver Sponsors

Anonymous
Baird
Beta Diagnostic Labs
A.C. Buhler Family
Lucy G. Feller
Ben and Dawn Flegel
Jim Harris
Sharon and Tom Harty
Horizon Retail Construction, Inc.
Lise Iwon
J. Jeffers & Co.
Johnson Financial Group
Dorothy MacVicar
Jan Serr and John Shannon

Bronze Sponsors

Ellen and Joseph Albrecht
Andis Foundation
Susan Boland
Virginia Buhler
Dave’s Wine Garage
Educators Credit Union
Express Employment Professionals
Bill and Debbie Keland
Susan Manalli
Jean and Alex Mandli, Jr.
The Prairie School
Cathy Stanghellin
Twin Disc, Inc.

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