David Kordansky Gallery is pleased to announce both its representation of Zach Harris, and a new solo project with the artist at Art Los Angeles Contemporary.
Zach Harris's wall reliefs---amalgams of mystical imagery, illusionistic patterning, and painterly incident---are among the most idiosyncratic, original, and engaging objects being produced under the rubric of contemporary painting. In each composition Harris extends intimate visionary vignettes painted on canvas, linen, or wood with elaborately sculpted and refined wooden frameworks, simultaneously channeling the viewer's attention and expanding it, echo-like, over a matching multi-dimensional plane. Throughout, Harris both carves and paints shadowy recesses and worlds within worlds, using color theory to seemingly emanate unnatural light from a naturalist palette. Recalling cosmological architectures and visionary folk art, as well a diversity of Eastern and Western art historical traditions from devotional icons to Color Field, Harris's constructions display both a sophisticated formal fluency and personal nuance. Singular worlds unto themselves, the works compel individualized experiences of sustained and thoughtful looking.
A suite of new paintings at Art Los Angeles Contemporary, including Harris's largest and most intricate to date, draw inspiration from the artist's own en plein air painting meditations in the woods of upstate New York. Concentrating his eye and hand on the form of a tree until it dissolved into abstraction and visual illusion, Harris depicted the resulting psychedelic impressions in paint sketches, which he later developed into larger schemas and systems to create this latest body of work. These and other stream-of-conscious notations, reimagined in paint, ink, and bas-relief, lend his new compositions a narrative, dioramic quality. The vast Linen Last Judgment (2013-2014), for instance, features a continuum of imaginary apocalyptic scenes minutely drawn across its tapestry-like surface. Esoteric handwritten text follows the contours of the painting's winding and striated pathways, often captioning the wild, dreamlike action portrayed. Harris balances such chaotic touches with the refinement of calibrated painting and a design process increasingly mediated by mathematics and technology. He conceived the carvings in Linen Last Judgment through scaled drawings and hand carving, but routed them with a CNC machine. In other paintings, Harris masked radiant atmospheric paint sprays with frisket and then laser etched a complex geometric pattern into the surface---such crystalline precision serving, throughout all his new works, to illuminate perception.
Zach Harris (b. 1976, Santa Rosa, California) earned a BA from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson (1999) and an MFA from Hunter College, New York (2006). Recent solo exhibitions of his work include Echo Parked In A No Vex Cave, David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles (2013); Requiem Reversals, Max Protetch Gallery, New York (2009); and Light Rain Cast No Shadow, Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, Oregon (2009). Recent group exhibitions featuring Harris's work include Left Coast: Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California (2014); Tapping the Third Realm, Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, and Laband Art Gallery, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles (2013); Made in L.A. 2012, organized by the Hammer Museum and LAXART, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2012); and Brian Calvin, Charles Garabedian, John McAllister, Zach Harris, David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles (2012). His work is featured in the public collections of the Hammer Museum; the Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey; and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Harris lives and works in Los Angeles.