April 7 - May 16, 2012
British artist Marcus Harvey made his name at the groundbreaking “Sensation” show at London’s Royal Academy of Arts in 1997 with his unforgettable large-scale portrait of serial killer Myra Hyndley, made from child-size hand-prints. The work earned him instant national and international acclaim.
One of the first generation of Young British Artists, Harvey graduated from Goldsmiths College in 1986, and is a friend and contemporary of Damien Hirst. Artistically promiscuous, Harvey’s work has ranged from highly worked figurative paintings to vital, impastoed oils of nudes delineated by black lines known as his “Readers Wives”, playful politicised sculptures as well as a powerful mosaic image of Margaret Thatcher.
The Reflex Gallery is proud to present an exhibition of 13 paintings by Harvey, including 10 new works that have not been displayed before. This series of “glass” paintings, a theme which the artist began exploring a decade ago, is inspired by themes of domesticity and voyeurism. Through the prism of a textured glass door, intimate acts and objects are partly obscured – a woman on the toilet, a lone toilet roll, a child in a batman outfit. Some of the works, featuring masks and clowns, add another layer of disguise to unravel; in others, a candle and a skull pay homage to the Dutch tradition of still life and vanitas painting - a surprise note of gravitas.
The viewer, cast in the role of Peeping Tom, is encouraged to reread the image - which has in turn been warped both by the irregular patterned glass and the artist’s own interpretation. It is a complex painterly experience – richer than the polished photo realist image at first suggests. “The actual painting is in a sense mechanical transcription,” Harvey comments. “The exciting part is the performance behind the door.”
Humorous, intriguing and oddly recognisable – these works encourage us to recall similar intimate discoveries from our own pasts. “There is a kind of psychological familiarity with this kind of voyeuristic experience.”
Channelling Warhol, Richter and Chuck Close, this powerful, coherent series confirms Harvey as one of the UK’s most important contemporary artists.
Harvey solo exhibitions include shows at London’s White Cube Gallery (2009, 1994), Galleria Marabini, Bologna (2009, 2007, 2005) Mary Boone (2002) and Tanya Bonakdar, New York (1995). Last year, Harvey curated an exhibition at London’s Pangolin gallery entitled “Two and a Half Dimensions”, which both the sculptural side of painting and the painterly side of sculpture. This is his first solo show in the Netherlands.
Galerie Alex Daniels cordially invites you to the opening of the exhibition on Saturday, April 7th between 5 and 7 pm in the presence of the artist.
A new book with the artist's iconic works as well as his most recent paintings will be published by Reflex Editions in conjunction with the show. Marcus Harvey will be signing copies of the book at the opening. A portfolio in a limited edition with an original print matching the show will be presented at the opening.