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.
As an artist, I work to resist historical conventions that legitimize exploitation by re-imagining how the world fits together. In paintings and installations, I employ layering, montage, and geometric frameworks to reveal complex spaces that merge the shallow screen-space of the digital world with the deep space of Western landscape traditions. In this hybrid space, borrowed styles and symbolic imagery drawn from the visual material of many archives are permitted to play together, and existing iconography is cast in new and unexpected roles. I curate my sources and then focus on form, trusting in the formal qualities of the work to carry the critique. By working in this way, I aim to discover a visual language that speaks of a mythological present, offering both warning and positive potential.
photo: Annelies Senfter