“To draw a line is to underline something or to refuse something. The line is the affirmation of your space, the definition of your existence; to draw a line is to rebuff nothingness and death, it is to resist. It is to say, “I am irreducible”, “I influence destiny”; it is to say, “I am”, “I love”; it is to say, “I hope”.”

– Patrick Vernon


The works on paper, mostly watercolor or pen and ink washes, reveal Vernon’s polysemous play with figures, colors and modeling, as well as their decomposition. The Japanese sumi-e tradition, with its credo of indirection rather than direct address, fascinated him throughout his life.

His images often appear to be inspired by calligraphy. Polar oscillation between abstract figuration and objective connotation, between the painterly and the graphical, allow the viewer to recognize aesthetic allusions to Joan Miró, Paul Klee and the New York School, in particular Robert Motherwell and Jackson Pollock.