Saturday, May 3, 2014

Neither a Mirror nor a Hammer

Patrick Harris's latest body of work speaks to me in volumes without a single word or nameable icon.
In this way it is a departure from what has become, for me, a familiar and comfortable dialogue.

You have most likely seen his work if you pay attention to what is on the walls around Winston-Salem. His are the iconic, pop influenced images of the musically infamous, the cinematically stellar, the artistically influential. Flat fields of color applied carefully with small brushes, chosen with great care for their explanatory perfection separated and defined by black or near black line work are typical of Harris's work, at least until now.

By my best reckoning, the seminal piece in the series, "Puzzled" appeared at Delurk in the fall of 2013 (Patrick will correct me if I am wrong). Black figures on a newsprint cream ground it was a number fill in puzzle... More clearly the portrait of a very particular puzzle, found in a book of puzzles in his father's hospital room, if I remember correctly, not fully completed by his father (a serious puzzler) as his motor functions began to fade. It was to be his last. The painting was arresting in its graphic clarity. People would arrive in the gallery and stop still in front of it. Without a word of explanation they felt its emotion; I could see that for myself watching from a passive position at the desk.

Mr. Harris and I do not spend much time talking casually. The conversation is almost always about art, artists, integrity, irony and the challenges of engaging in meaningful discourse in a profession focused on non-verbal communication. Today was no exception, but somehow it seemed more important, because now after more than two challenging years at Delurk Gallery, collaborating with a growing and ever changing collective of artists Patrick is weighing anchor for Charleston this summer.

- jennimusing - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:University Pkwy,Winston-Salem,United States