Love in the Shadows
14 November – 14 December 2002
Curated by Robert Heald
Michael Harrison's images are intimate, inventive, romantic, playful yet sincere, often slightly uneasy. Favouring singular, iconic images (of women, couples, faces, cats) he taps into a network of public and private iconographies. He works with fragile lines, pale washes and vibrant ingenuous colours - they are meticulously skilful.
Love in the Shadows is a major survey exhibition and his first public gallery solo show. It features 45 rarely seen works by this serial Auckland painter. The works have been selected from private collections both here and in Australia and brought together by emerging curator Robert Heald.
His symbolism, grafted from Tarot cards, art history, mass-media, World War II photojournalism and life itself, is notoriously arcane. He says, "I try to look again at familiar things as though I'm looking for the first time (on a good day) or the last time (on a bad day) -- or for the only time."
He toys with overlaid images and spatial ambiguities. "I'm trying to open a space for the erotic charge which happens at the moment when something that seems to have reached completion is already slipping away."
An Artspace Touring Exhibition:
Dunedin Public Art Gallery
City Gallery Wellington 30 August - 19 October 2003
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