Patrick Heide Contemporary Art is delighted to announce Plastic Fox, Andy Harper’s second solo exhibition at the gallery in which he presents a selection of large and small format paintings. Frenetic, busy and manic in parts this recent works display every feature that makes his oeuvre distinctive: dense compositions full of detail and depth, complex and dynamic interplays between colour and gesture, light and shadow, executed in a pulsating, almost exuberant application of paint.
Two years after Soft Errors, Harper’s first solo show, the artist returns to a set of forms and subjects that he constantly references in his oeuvre since his early career: motifs from botany, organic shapes and vibrant colours, which combine to semi-abstract arrangements. However, the new series of mostly large format paintings goes beyond the earlier energetic, balanced and beautiful compositions. Certain works, such as Something is happening that is not happening at all, refuse to be easily accessible and possess a rather gaudy and flamboyant, if not harsh quality. The picture planes are vigorously and intentionally disturbed, crossed out or scribbled over.
Gestural brushstrokes in diluted layers of oil paint, accomplished in glamorous lilac to luscious red, bright pink to striking blue and green, set a concentrated arrangement of dynamic traces and finely drawn lines in motion and carry us away into the realms of the fantastic, the organic, the abstract. An overabundance of visual information effectively dictates us to take a step back every now and then, pause for a moment, before once more immersing in these enchanted and mystical sceneries.
Harper’s oeuvre often reveals a restless, voracious and experimental spirit; also in Plastic Fox he opens up to new adventures. Works like Pocket of Straws or Blind Stitched play with monochrome - colourful or white - blocked out masked shapes that populate the picture surface and interrupt the image flow. The paintings often alternate in style or manner and can differ enormously in composition and colour as well as general image feel even though some of the works were made in close dialogue with one another. These recent paintings can be read as a coherent set of works, even as a series, but they can also be seen and experienced as totally individual, separate entities.
Andy Harper was born in the United Kingdom in 1971. He received his BA from Brighton Polytechnic, a Master’s Degree in Fine Art from the Royal College of Art, and a Master’s Degree in Visual Culture from Middlesex University. Harper lives in Cornwall and has exhibited extensively throughout the world and most recently in solo exhibitions at Lux Art Institute in San Diego, where he also held a residency, at Danese Corey gallery in New York, Morgen Contemporary in Berlin, and Page Gallery in Seoul, as well as group exhibitions at Pumphouse Gallery, London and at El Segundo Museum of Art in El Segundo.