In 2011, Patrick Fagerberg was at the height of his career as a successful defense attorney in Austin, Texas. On the evening of March 19th, he attended a concert at a popular music venue, during which a 400-pound camera boom collapsed and struck him on the head. The accident injured his brain’s left hemisphere, permanently altering his control of language and triggering a period of intense depression. Fagerberg discovered painting in an art therapy class, and the impulse towards artistic expression soon came to dominate his life. Fagerberg’s injury had brought about an exceptional case of “savant syndrome,” in which his previously neglected right brain developed an island of genius which allowed him to excel as a painter.
Fagerberg’s work explores nature on a cosmic scale, evoking the transcendent in the tradition of other abstract painters such as Mark Rothko and Clifford Still. Organic and expansive, Fagerberg’s paintings thrust the viewer into the cosmos. They possess a sense of the infinite both in their endless gradations of gray and perpetual sense of movement: forms seem to drift across the canvas on a cosmic timeline. Fagerberg’s most recent work has taken on mathematical elements, and the geometric forms of fractals and parabolas are pervasive in his imagery. Largely self-taught over a short and intense period of study, Fagerberg—in both his unusual career trajectory and his body of work—invites the viewer to contemplate the remarkable relations between science, art, and humanity’s different modes of creating meaning.