In September, I had the pleasure of installing recent works for a small exhibition in the glass-enclosed pavilion known as the Round Lake Auditorium, in Round Lake, NY. Thanks to Terry James Conrad for the invitation.
I spent three weeks at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in September-October and was able to get an incredible amount of work done in the studio. I also met many amazingly wonderful artists, writers and composers. I love these photos of the work in progress in my studio; they were taken by Austrian photographer Annelies Senfter and show me with writer Devin Symons.
The process of making the work is a series of responses. Each new layer is a response to energies and relationships present in those underlying. As I made Alchemists in the Garden, the architecture and stained glass windows of St. Ann & the Holy Trinity, the Gothic revival church where it was to be installed, functioned as a kind of additional meta layer to which to respond in my mind.
Installed in the nave of St. Ann’s, this piece is in conversation with the existing stained glass. The universe depicted in the windows is quite different from the one I’ve pictured, but both are representations of cosmological (rather than physical) space. In Alchemists, the two large diamond structures on the right and left seem to converge, intersecting or colliding, perhaps actively generating the central event, in which the figure of a skeleton presides over blooms and branches.
This piece and other recent ones are made with ink on geometric sheets of paper, which are later mounted on wood. The process involves a tug-of-war between the commitment required by the ink and the flexibility afforded by the diamonds. Laying down the color requires commitment because it cannot be erased or covered over, while working with the diamond shapes allows me to reconfigure, discard, and invert individual pieces until the logic of the whole piece asserts itself and the diamond shuffle ceases.
As described by the curators, the theme of the exhibition was “resurrection reimagined:”
This exhibition seeks to cast a wide net by considering resurrection from a broad range of references (beyond existing tropes) as well as defining it from varying social, cultural, or political conceptions. In particular, we are interested in alternative readings, including reappearance, rebirth, restoration, revival, resurgence, and reawakening.
In my work simultaneous events and meanings exist in a single space. My response to the theme of resurrection was a meditation on the interplay of destructive and creative energies embedded in our technological society which is reflected in the structure and iconography of the piece.
I installed the work for [CODES] at Rockland Center for the Arts this week (with the help of Peter Artin and Cheyenne Mallo). The show opens Sunday, March 1 (reception from 2-5pm) and runs through April 12.
Photos courtesy of Cheyenne Mallo.
I'm excited to be showing recent small works at an Iowa City institution, Prairie Lights.
Jen P. Harris: Contrapuntal Hitch
The Times Club at Prairie Lights
15 South Dubuque Street
Iowa City, IA 52240
January 5-February 1, 2015
Reception: Friday, January 23, 6-8pm
Times Club Editions will publish a catalog, which includes color reproductions of works from the show alongside a wonderful essay by New York City-based fiction and arts writer, Jessica Lott.
Iowa City was designated the world's third "City of Literature" by UNESCO in 2008. As a lifelong admirer and friend of literature (and writers), I am super pleased about the opportunity to hang my work in the very place the local literary society met through the 1930s, hosting Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, e e cummings and others. Today, the bookstore hosts an internationally known reading series, "Live from Prairie Lights."
Contrapuntal Hitch was organized by Times Club curator, Sarika Sugla.
Happy New Year!
A Tangled Web
29 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002
December 18, 2014 - January 22, 2015
Reception: Thursday, December 18, 6-8pm
Michel Demanche / Elise Freda / Howard Gross / Jen P. Harris / Moses Hoskins / Arcady Kotler / D. Dominick Lombardi / Victor Matthews / Melissa Murray / Lisa Pressman / John J. Richardson / Marielis Seyler / James St. Clair / John Wyatt
In other news, I am now fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas, an arts non-profit in New York City. Supporters of my work can make tax deductible donations! I'm in the midst of a fundraising campaign for an upcoming solo show at Rockland Center for the Arts and I still need to raise $2,000 to reach my goal of $5K by the end of February. If you're interested in learning more and/or making a donation, go HERE. No donation is too small.
Thank you for your eyes and your support.
For those of you not in Hudson, NY, which is most of you, I’ve posted images of some new works I showed there this past spring and summer, here and here. Installation shots from Orb of Influence, an independent exhibition in Hudson that I co-organized and curated, are posted here. Thanks to everyone who trekked all the way out to the Union Street space to see the work!
I’ve since moved to Iowa City and have spent the last two months converting a garage into a (fingers crossed) winterized studio. You can see photos of the before and after states, and some in between, right here.
In other news, ten of my recent works on paper are currently available through the Boston Drawing Project, at Carroll and Sons in Boston, MA.
And finally, I’ll be showing new works in two upcoming exhibitions in New York. More on these as the dates get closer:
December 18, 2014 - January 22, 2015
A Tangled Web
Curated by D.Dominick Lombardi
Causey Contemporary, Brooklyn, NY
Rockland Center for the Arts (RoCA), West Nyack, NY