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Alfred Harris: Hope and Glory

RICHARD SPEER
Thursday September 26
Froelick Gallery
714 NW Davis St.
 
Hope and Glory is a pretty melodramatic title for a show that’s essentially about stasis. Based in Seattle, Alfred Harris follows in the historical lineage (and contemporary glut) of abstract painters who feel compelled to counterpose order against chaos. This is one of the trustiest of aesthetic tropes: to create compositions in which an underlying structure is superimposed with snaking organic gestures. In works such as Earplugs, Bug Juice, Harris contrasts the regularity of squares, rectangles, and lines with the seemingly arbitrary perambulations of thick gestures, which amble across wood panels like the half-dazed characters in a Kerouac novel. Like Portland-based painter G. Lewis Clevenger, Harris is dedicated to the modernist proposition that by integrating the fundamental polarity of rectilinearity versus curvilinearity, artists can reconcile opposition, liberate the viewer from conflict, and effect a kind of emotional/spiritual equipoise. That’s a tall order. Happily, Harris’ technique comes as close to achieving these lofty aims as do most of his contemporaries in the Northwest art scene. Through Sept. 28.

 



Where: Froelick Gallery
Phone: 222-1142
Address: 714 NW Davis St.
Website: http://www.froelickgallery.com/

 
 
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