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RICHARD HARRISON PAINTINGS

JAY WHITNEY BROWN FINE ART Los Angeles


RICHARD HARRISON PAINTINGS Presented by

JAY WHITNEY BROWN FINE ART PRIVATE SALES

NYC • Los Angeles • London

CB1 GALLERY – GUEST SPACE 1923 South Santa Fe Avenue Los Angeles, California 90021

September – October 2015

www.jaywhitneybrown.com


Copyright Š 2015 by Jay Whitney Brown Fine Art All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review. Printed in the United States of America First Printing, 2015 ISBN 978-0-692-51186-2 JWB Press Los Angeles www.jaywhitneybrown.com


INTRODUCTION By

BRIAN SEWELL

R

ichard Harrison, on whom, five years ago, I wrote a book, “Nothing Wasted: The Paintings of Richard Harrison”, has requested that I allow myself to be described as the curator of this latest exhibition. I have respectfully declined. In an entirely informal way I have browsed through the recent paintings in his studio selecting some for his first one man show in the United States, rejecting others, seeking only to construct a rounded picture of his work, his subjects and his references as they are now. Five years ago my choice would have been different and five years hence it will again be different, for by then he will have moved on. In this limited sense I am indeed the curator, but a curator’s proper task is to see more than can be seen in the work of three or four years, to set it in the context of the whole work, even to set it in the wider context of western art and its historical influences – and that, of course, is the retrospective exhibition in which we look back to the beginning of a painter’s career and trace it, step by step, until we reach the present day. This exhibition is not a retrospective; it is of the moment; it is of Richard Harrison’s work as it is now – as has been the case with the more than forty exhibitions that preceded it. What the viewer has before him is a glimpse of Harrison at work today,

his pictures big, bold, beautiful and threatening. He began thirty years ago as an abstract painter with a convincing interest in texture, not only of paint, but even of the canvas on which he painted, which he frequently burned or charred; in these, though they represented nothing, there was a mysterious link with the Rococo paintings of the eighteenth century. He then moved on through landscape and the figure to the subjects with which artists were content for half a millennium, from the Renaissance in Italy in the fifteenth century until the last years of the Victorian Olympus that flourished in England and Germany until the outbreak of the first World War, taken from the Bible and classical mythology. Now these narratives are less important – it is enough to reduce mankind to a symbolic figure struggling with abstract forces of man’s romantic imagination, or even to reduce the subject to the hostility of landscape. I was on Mount Etna in Sicily when it last erupted (as we knew it might) and knew perfectly well what must be done if one is to survive such a threatening circumstance; now, as then, no one who has felt his boots burning as he scrambles away from flowing lava needs an explanation of Harrison’s landscapes. They are of a primeval world much larger, wilder and more threatening than that familiar to our ever-increasing mankind now. Are Earth’s eruptions, whether of her caparison of ice or molten


rock from her inner core, her protests against the impertinent interventions of the men and women who occupy her surface? In Harrison’s paintings I sense a fitting hopelessness at the thought of man’s futility when confronted with the world as we know it in this new century. With ease we can look back over the past ten thousand years or so at our early civilizations, superstitions and beliefs, but in the past hundred years we humans have changed the world beyond recognition, have urbanized it to accommodate our increasing numbers, reducing to almost nothing the habitats of other creatures. In another hundred years will there still be the lion and the polar bear, the whale and the elephant, the albatross and the vulture? Harrison looks back to the Classical and romantic past of western civilization all about us in our history, and forward to a new emptiness, a new beginning, the human race all but wiped out by a globe rebelling against our ubiquity. In this there is hope that the few who survive to construct the new world from the old will remember the ruin brought about by man’s greedy thoughtless presence everywhere. It will be a mighty cleansing. We should see Harrison as a visionary prophet, young and formidable in mind, a painter of undiminishing turbulent enquiry with all the advantages of practice, education, maturity and broad experience. Many may agree with this feeling for his work while disagreeing with my deeper interpretation. So be it. By all means see him only as a painter. Live with the marks and colours of his brush. Slowly become aware of words forming in your mind. Some of these words will be mine. Brian Sewell London 2015

BRIAN SEWELL has since 1984 been the art critic of the London Evening Standard and one of its political columnists, winning national and international press awards in both spheres. He contributes to magazines and broadcasts on radio and television.


PAINTINGS


WRESTLERS 2007 40 X 36 INS. 101.5 X 91.5 CM. OIL & ACRYLIC ON CANVAS

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MOUNTAIN PEAKS 2008 75 X 88.5 INS. 190 X 225 CM. OIL & ACRYLIC ON LINEN

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SOMETIME NEVER (TRIPTYCH) 2010 78.5 X 201 INS. 200 X 510 CM. OIL, ACRYLIC, CHARCOAL & PASTEL ON LINEN 11


AGAINST THE TIDE (AFTER THEODORE GERICAULT) (DIPTYCH) 2011 71 X 118 INS. 180 X 300 CM. OIL, ACRYLIC, PASTEL & CHARCOAL ON LINEN

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SQUARING UP (DIPTYCH) 2011 71 X 118 INS. 180 X 300 CM. OIL, ACRYLIC, PASTEL & CHARCOAL ON LINEN

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SHALL I WAIT FOREVER (TRIPTYCH) 2011 71 X 177 INS. 180 X 450 CM. OIL, ACRYLIC, PASTEL & CHARCOAL ON LINEN 17


RAPTURE 2012 72 X 84 INS. 183 X 213.5 CM. OIL ON LINEN

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MATRIARCH 2013 84 X 72 INS. 213.5 X 183 CM. OIL ON LINEN

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THE WANDERERS 2013 63 X 78.5 INS. 160 X 200 CM. OIL, ACRYLIC, PASTEL & CHARCOAL ON LINEN

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RED CANYON 2013 12 X 18 INS. 30 X 46 CM. OIL ON PLYWOOD PANEL

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STAIRWAY 2014 54 X 44 INS. 137 X 112 CM. OIL & ACRYLIC ON CANVAS

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TRIMLINE 2014 48 X 60 INS. 122 X 152.5 CM. OIL, ACRYLIC & COLLAGE ON LINEN

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TOWER 2014 40 X 36 INS. 101.5 X 91.5 CM. OIL ON LINEN

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FROM THE DEEP 2014 71 X 59 INS. 180 X 150 CM. OIL & ACRYLIC ON LINEN

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FAIRFIELD 2014 16 X 18 INS. 40.5 X 46 CM. OIL ON CANVAS ON PLYWOOD PANEL

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DARK HOLLOW 2014 30 X 28 INS. 76 X 71 CM. OIL ON LINEN

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FURROWS 2014 15 X 20 INS. 38.5 X 51 CM. OIL ON CANVAS ON PLYWOOD PANEL

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THE LOOKOUT 2014 19 X 24 INS. 48 X 61 CM. OIL & COLLAGE ON MASONITE BOARD

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ONCE IN A BLUE MOON 2014 12 X 15 INS. 30 X 38.5 CM. OIL & COLLAGE ON CANVAS ON PLYWOOD PANEL

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CLEFT 2014 15 X 16 INS. 38.5 X 41 CM. OIL ON CANVAS ON PLYWOOD PANEL

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HELGAFELL 2014 48 X 28 INS. 122 X 71 CM. OIL ON LINEN

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WAVE 2014 19 X 14 INS. 48.5 X 36 CM. OIL ON CANVAS ON PLYWOOD PANEL

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THE EDGE AND BEYOND 2014 24 X 19 INS. 61 X 48 CM. OIL & COLLAGE ON MASONITE BOARD

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ADRIFT 2014 67 X 87 INS. 170 X 222 CM. OIL ON CANVAS

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BETWEEN THE TREES 2014 63 X 59 INS. 160 X 150 CM. OIL & ACRYLIC ON LINEN

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PRIMORDIAL 2014 71 X 48 INS. 180 X 121.5 CM. OIL, ACRYLIC & COLLAGE ON CANVAS

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TERMINUS III 2014 24 X 22 INS. 61 X 56 CM. OIL & ACRYLIC ON CANVAS ON PLYWOOD PANEL

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THE DARK RIDER 2015 78.5 X 59 INS. 199.5 X 150 CM. OIL & ACRYLIC ON LINEN

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PINNACLES – AN HOMAGE TO ALBERT BIERSTADT 2015 71 X 59 INS. 180 X 150 CM. OIL ON LINEN

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TORRENT 2015 72 X 84 INS. 183 X 213.5 CM. OIL & ACRYLIC ON LINEN

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EARTH 2015 30 X 28 INS. 76 X 71 CM. OIL ON LINEN

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WESTWARD 2015 72 X 84 INS. 183 X 213.5 CM. OIL ON LINEN

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Richard Harrison

b. 1954, Liverpool, England

EDUCATION: 1973-76 1981-83 1984-87 1987-88

Trinity College, Cambridge London College of Furniture Chelsea School of Art, London Chelsea School of Art, London

BA Hons. Degree in History Diploma in Furniture Design BA Hons. Degree in Fine Art MA Degree in Painting

SOLO EXHIBITIONS: 2015 2013 2011 2011 2010 2008 2006 2003 2002 2001 1997 1993 1990

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Jay Whitney Brown Fine Art, Los Angeles, USA at CB1 Gallery – Guest Space “Sex, Lust, Death and The Maiden”, Albemarle Gallery, London Dea Orh Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic “Nothing Wasted”, at Jamb, London with Albemarle Gallery and Chenshia Museum, Wuhan, China Chenshia Museum, Wuhan, China Albemarle Gallery, London Albemarle Gallery, London Albemarle Gallery, London Albemarle Gallery, London Albemarle Gallery, London Fun Factory Gallery, London Gallery 27, London Jill George Gallery, London Berkeley Square Gallery, London


GROUP EXHIBITIONS: 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003

“Winter Collective”, Albemarle Gallery, London 17th National Open Art Competition, Royal College of Art, London “Small Is Beautiful” , Flowers Gallery, London Korean International Art Fair, Soeul, South Korea with Albemarle Gallery Art Show Busan, South Korea with Albemarle Gallery “Aqueous”, Albemarle Gallery, London Korean International Art Fair, Soeul, South Korea with Albemarle Gallery “Summer Collective”, Albemarle Gallery, London “Shine Artists”, Albemarle Gallery, London John Moores Painting Prize Exhibition, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool Korean International Art Fair, Soeul, South Korea with Albemarle Gallery Two Man show with Frank To, Albemarle Gallery, London “Summer Show”, Albemarle Gallery, London “Art London”, Business Design Centre with Albemarle Gallery “Summer Show”, Albemarle Gallery, London Newcastle Gateshead Art Fair with Albemarle Gallery, London “Summer Show”, Albemarle Gallery, London “10th Anniversary Show”, Albemarle Gallery, London “Winter Show”, Albemarle Gallery, London “Summer In The City”, Albemarle Gallery at Holman & Fenwick, London “Summer Exhibition” Pontone Fine Art at Holman & Fenwick, London “Summer Show”, Albemarle Gallery at Holman & Fenwick, London “Art London”, Business Design Centre with Albemarle Gallery “Winter Show”, Albemarle Gallery, London Morley Printmakers, St.Bride’s Library, London

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GROUP EXHIBITIONS (continued): 2001 1999 1994 1993 1992 1991 1989 1988 1987 1985

“Made at Morley”, Morley Gallery, London “New Year, New Work”, Albemarle Gallery, London “Network Art Exhibition”, Albemarle Gallery, London Metropolis Gallery, Melbourne, Australia “Art For Youth ”, Mall Galleries, London Manchester Art Fair with Jill George Gallery, London Chicago Art Fair with Berkeley Square Gallery, London William Mora Gallery, Melbourne, Australia Berkeley Square Gallery, London Berkeley Square Gallery, London New English Art Club, Mall Galleries, London “Britain’s Painters”, Mall Galleries, London Pomeroy Purdy Gallery, London Leicester Council Exhibition, England “Young Masters”, The Kunsthaus, Augsburg, Germany Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Mall Galleries, London “Young Masters”, Solomon Gallery, London Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS : Associated Newspapers Ltd., London Priory Church of St. Bartholomew the Great, London Liverpool Anglican Cathedral Unex Group Chenshia Museum, Wuhan, China Orb Estates, London Mirabaud Holdings, London Farhat Museum, Beirut, Lebanon

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Richard Harrison Paintings, CB1 Gallery - Guest Space, 2015  

Exhibition Catalogue of 32 paintings by Richard Harrison, with introduction by Brian Sewell.

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