Inside Out, A William Harsh Retrospective
October 30-December 1, 2012
Artist Talk Series | Tour Exhibit with Artist Saturday, November 10, 2-4PM
Following: A Special Honorary Reception for Artist and
Book Signing of Inside Out: Paintings of William Harsh with author DeWitt Cheng,4-6PM
Vessel Gallery, 471 25th Street, Oakland, CA 94612, 510 893 8800
Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11-6PM
Artist William Harsh is a painter, considered and included as a third generation Boston Expressionist, and indirectly influenced by the Bay Area Figurative School, as he studied with Philip Guston and James Weeks at Boston University. Bill is an art educator and has taught on the East Coast and in the Bay Area. His paintings and monotypes are cultivated from a strong serious practice, through a refined art history lense, and an exquisite mastery of paint medium. Vessel Gallery is proud to present "Inside Out, A William Harsh Retrospective" a testament to this artist's journey of self-expression and sustained committment to art making. A book is in preparation and will be presented November 10 by author DeWitt Cheng.
"William Harsh’s paintings, prints and drawings have been variously (but incompletely) described as Expressionist, Surrealist and Metaphysical. Steeped in art history and developed through almost forty years of art practice, these works, distinguished by virtuoso draftsmanship and paint-handling, combine not only modernist art styles that are usually considered incompatible, but, as well, traditionally different genres: landscape, still life, and even nature study and portrait (though of an eccentric kind). In the current aesthetic climate, which has been described as postmodern and even, according to one eminent critic, as “post-art,” Harsh’s oeuvre, with its roots in Picasso, Chirico, Beckmann and Guston, among others, makes a convincing case for the virtues of authenticity, beauty, humor and power; his art demands and rewards serious looking, and delivers the aesthetic goods without apologies or excuses." - DeWitt Cheng
"Bill is one of the most dedicated practiced artists with whom I have the privilage to work. The gravity of my first step into his studio presented an artist who'd mastered the handling of paint through years of commitment to his studio practice; his hard work permeated not only his canvases but the physical space of creation. I deciphered instantly this was no ordinary studio visit, this was an artist who'd quietly, stoicly, bravely, cultivated a
deceivingly effortless practice. Harsh pocesses enough ammunition in painting chops to take the art world by surprise. Subsequent steps forward led me to an inescapable, undeniably wonderful journey of the world of William Harsh. I am delighted and truly grateful to bring forth a retrospective show for this astounding artist. "Inside Out" is the show that we will remember for its honesty, declaration and commitment to the art of expression through painting. Thank you for the most incredible art tour, Bill." - Lonnie Lee
"From imagination and memory I wrestle familiar objects to expose the real presence and power of physical, tactile imagery. I work by improvisation, redrawing and re-configuring my constructions. Mix-ups in 'representation' occur as forms get entangled in paint, when fortress-like assemblies begin to emerge, solid and abstract, 'set' in ambiguous spaces. Intensities of color, movement, and organization arise at this stage. A sense of estrangement, a pull away from the familiar, compels the final images. The whole ensemble must become a curiosity to me, like an unexpected monument, the way driftwood piled high on a beach or junk in a studio corner suggests a drama. A finished picture must feel at least this real."
- William Harsh
SAT November 10, 2-4PM Vessel Gallery's ARTIST TALK SERIES - View painter's William Harsh work, and tour his painting show "Inside Out: A William Harsh Retrospective." Primarily an oil painter, Bill also works extensively with other painting and drawing media and with monotype printmaking. DeWitt Cheng will give a tour of this exhbition, and provide insight into this artist's work spanning nearly 40 years of dedicated studio practice.
SAT November 10, 4-6PM Special Honorary Reception | Catalogue Book Signing - A special reception honoring the dedicated life practice of artist William Harsh, with book signing of Inside Out: The Paintings of William Harsh by author DeWitt Cheng, with A Foreword by Paul J. Karlstrom, and Additional Contributions by Marilyn Bardetand Thomas Gardner.
Classical music performance by The Town Quartet