Bio + Statement
Jen P. Harris is a visual artist based in Iowa City following a decade in New York. She holds a BA in Studio Art from Yale University and an MFA in Painting from Queens College of the City University of New York. Her work has been exhibited nationally at venues including Daniel Cooney Fine Art, New York, NY; Causey Contemporary, New York, NY; Sardine, Brooklyn, NY; John Davis Gallery, Hudson, NY; Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, DE; CSPS Hall, Cedar Rapids, IA; University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS; and Coagula Projects, Los Angeles, CA. She was awarded a Fellowship in Painting from the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2012 and has received grants from the Puffin Foundation, the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, the Iowa Arts Council, and NYFA. In early 2017 she co-organized Nasty Women in Iowa, an exhibition that involved over 60 artists in a fundraiser for women’s health organizations and was widely covered in the local and national press. Jen has taught at Mount Mercy University and currently serves on the Board of Public Space One in Iowa City.
In complexly layered spaces with shimmers of the digital, my paintings offer a cosmic view of the information age. Centuries collapse in shards of historical maps, botanical illustrations, 8-bit graphics, medieval woodcuts and architectural fragments. Drawing from the visual material of many archives, this work grapples with the ecology, history, and cultural mythology of the United States. How can we understand history as a condition of simultaneous making, dismantling, and remaking, and how does this way of seeing alter the present? I offer my viewer a confluence of many narratives, positioning her as both participant and witness.
photo: Annelies Senfter