In the 1990’s, Tim and I were having dinner at a lovely restaurant on Block Island, when I spotted a painting on the wall. A moody landscape that looked like a storm coming in over the ocean. I bought it.
That was my first painting by William (Bill) Padien. Over the next few years, I bought three more.
I knew next to nothing about the painter at the time. Just that I liked what he did!
Turns out, he is kind of a big deal.
Bill trained at the Otis Art Institute/Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles, where he received his MFA.
He was associated for over a decade and continues to consult with Gemini G.E.L., the renowned West Coast artist workshop where he collaborated with many of the foremost Abstract Expressionists and Pop Art practitioners of the mid-20th Century. I dipped into Gemini G.E.L. when I was in West Hollywood in January 2020 and it is amazing…
Some of the artists Bill collaborated with over the years include Rauschenberg, Lichtenstein, Serra, Diebenkorn and Ellsworth Kelly. Bill had a long friendship with Kelly until his death in 2015.
The Padien signature style is a striking layered application with slashing strokes that mimic the grace of nature in motion.
Bill is a widely collected artist whose work has elements of late Impressionism, merged with the essence of Minimalism.
Bill has a gallery on Block Island this summer, Gallery Padien, where you can see a lovely cross-section of his work. In the past, it was like pulling teeth to uncover his latest creations….. (right Bill?). He squirreled them away for selective viewing! Now, you can go to Bridge Gate Square (next to The Old Post Office Bagel Shop) and dip into Gallery Padien all summer long. The gallery will have changing exhibits through September, rotating in other works by both Bill and sculptor Sean Hartnett.
Bill’s work is in numerous private collections, including Joan Didion, Richard Parsons, Jim Lillie and many others ~ myself included!
I highly recommend a visit to the Gallery Padien this summer. Visit @gallerypadien on Instagram for more information. You can also email Bill Padien directly at [email protected] with any questions.
the wry home