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Love In The Shadows At Artspace

Love In The Shadows At Artspace

Michael Harrison
LOVE IN THE SHADOWS
20 November ­ 19 December 2002

Coming out of the shadows in November is Auckland artist Michael Harrison, with a major survey exhibition and his first public gallery solo show. The exhibition features 48 rarely seen works by this serial Auckland painter.

The works have been selected from private collections both here and in Australia. Love in the Shadows presents a unique opportunity to view Harrison¹s remarkable output from a 15-year period in one place.

Best known for his A4 watercolours the tantalising, sometimes pervy images are grafted from many different sources: tarot cards, popular photography, dreams, art history. He says, ³I try to look again at familiar things as though I¹m looking for the first time (on a good day) or the last time (on a bad day) -‹ or for the only time.²

Using images of women, couples, faces or cats he taps into a network of public and private icons. In the words of writer Justin Paton, ³The paintings are a diary¹s remainder, an almanac of all the inchoate feelings that slip through the net of autobiography.²

The works are small, most of them not larger than a piece of office paper. Paton, a writer for the exhibition catalogue says, ³Harrison¹s works on paper look so faint and thin-skinned that you fear for their survival². But survive they have. For the devoted collectors of his work they are small things that grow large in the mind. They are about dreaming, memory, fantasy, mysticism and double-meanings.

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The project is a survey exhibition, a chance to reconsider the work of this quiet achiever by presenting nearly fifty of his most stunning and iconic works from 1985 to 2002. The exhibition has been brought together by Artspace and will tour to City Gallery, Wellington the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and then travel to Sydney.

Gallery Director Hanna Scott says, ³Artspace is leading the way by re-presenting Harrison¹s work, just as the market really starts to pay attention to it. As his first ever solo exhibition, Love in the Shadows marks Harrison as one of the most important artists of his generation².

Special Event: Artspace, Saturday 23 November at midday. Join Michael Harrison for an introduction to his working methods, his themes and sources. Robert Heald, curator of the exhibition, has recently completed his Masters thesis on Harrison. He will accompany the artist on this guided tour of the exhibition.

ENDS

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