Cultivator is pleased to present Coddled and Bruised, a solo exhibition of work by Anne Harris. Known for ephemeral figurative paintings, often self-portraits, that push against conventions of portraiture and beauty, Harris states:
“I’ve been painting and drawing these malleable self-portraits for the last 25 years. Self-perception is so murky—we see through the lens of our expectations. It seems my life’s work is built around an anxious slippage of self-confidence that started about age 12, a combination of self-awareness and self-misunderstanding….”
This exhibition merges two bodies of work that are ongoing in the artist’s studio. There are refined fictitious portraits that Harris calls eyelid paintings, referring to that convex, fragile membrane as their “operating metaphor.” These are pitted against the project Figuring Ground – essentially painted drawings made with oil and acrylic paint on very heavy paper. They’re blunt, graphic, and play with a visual fundamental – the figure/ground relationship – while parsing an existential question: if figure shapes ground and ground shapes figure, how do we shape our world, and how does our world shape us? (Notably, Harris began making these in reaction to the death of her mother.) Whether slow or fast, fine or crude, this work all shares compressed space and pressurized feeling, a color-light quality ranging from wan to acidic, and an enigmatic psychology–the sense that explicit revelation is somehow masked, hidden just beneath skin that is both human and paint.
Anne Harris has exhibited at museums and galleries ranging from The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art to The National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian, to Alexandre (NYC) and DC Moore (NYC). Her work is in such public collections as The New York Public Library and the Fogg Museum at Harvard, and has been discussed/reviewed in publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, Art in American, ARTnews and Art Ltd. She’s received numerous grants and awards, including a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artists Fellowship. Harris teaches in the painting and drawing department at SAIC, and also serves on the board of the Riverside Arts Center, where she is Chair of their Exhibition Committee.
Coddled and Bruised is Harris’s second solo exhibition in Chicago, and the first to showcase new work. Concurrent with this exhibition, she has a solo exhibition at MCA, Memphis, TN, titled Invisible Girls and The Mind’s I, and is also included in Threshold, curated by Niki Johnson, at the Charles Allis Museum in Milwaukee.
Opening Reception Sunday, November 1, 3pm – 6pm
Closing Reception and Artist’s Talk Sunday, December 13, 3pm-6pm