CONLEY HARRIS


STATEMENT

      I’m a painter pursuing various bodies of work. The main subject and reference is that of Landscape. My work is a response to an intangible otherworldly presence I often experience in pure nature. I reference gardens I have studied and photographed across New England, Great Britain and Japan. In addition to oil paintings I am also a photographer. I paint over selected images of my constructed photographs, printed on archival watercolor paper, using watercolor and guache.
      I embrace the sublime beauty and radiating stillness found in pure landscape. The immediate “presence” of a particular site is pursued. My thoughts are especially engaged with the delicate and transitory aspects of changing sunlight. Light as it models and defines the fullness of landscape, introduces both clarity and the sense of remembered experiences.
      There is a direct connection between the way I look and respond to landscape. My response to nature emerges from years of drawing and painting pursuits and the urge to delineate the vast accumulation of shapes, surfaces and colors I see. For me there can be a visceral urge to be the landscape, be the color in the landscape.
      Across the summer months of 2017 I pursued a body of abstract paintings: The Abstract Painting Project, 2017. This was a long-planned project requiring a halt to other studio works. Not in anyway reinventing the history of abstract reductive painting, my own concern was to create paintings utilizing colors long associated with my landscape work using familiar shapes and patterns now at their most reduced.
      Though I’m seeking an authentic experience in the paintings; I prefer to create finished paintings away from the site relying on shot photographs aiding remembered inspiration. Working inside the studio allows me to concentrate on constructing interesting new paintings.
      The paintings have been acquired and exhibited by museums and public collections including the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge MA; Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Boston MA; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Fidelity Management, Boston and worldwide; Federal Reserve Bank of Boston MA and Chicago IL; Met Life, New York City, NY and Citibank headquarters, New York City, NY; plus private collections.