New paintings by Jeffrey Harris

Jeffrey Harris presents his first major exhibition of new work in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland in over 20 years, on view until 10 April at {Suite} Ponsonby, Aotearoa/NZ.

Date 26 March 2021 Words Becky Hemus imagery SUPPLIED

Bodies adorned with lashings and egg-like shapes float within fluid landscapes. Disembodied eyes and heads, snakes, crucifixes and phallic weaponry become enigmatic symbols that give the impression of a dream or nightmare begging to be decoded. 

Hailed as one of the most significant artists of the 1970s within Aotearoa/New Zealand, Jeffrey Harris’s artistic style has constantly evolved while continuing to revisit familiar symbolic motifs. Drawing inspiration from New Zealand art history by harking back to a distinctly regionalist style, here Harris once again returns to the iconography of the cross—a subject that, when first painted by the artist, was influenced by the crucifixion paintings of Francis Bacon. Utilising the scene as a compositional device and symbol for human suffering rather than exploring purely religious aspects, Harris beckons the viewer into surreal and unsettling worlds. 

The exhibition is the artist’s first of new paintings in 10 years and his first exhibition in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland in over 20 years.

Jeffrey Harris, Installation view, {Suite} Ponsonby, March 2021. 

Jeffrey Harris, Female and Male, 2021, oil on board, 400 x 309 mm.

Jeffrey Harris, Family, 2021, oil on board, 323 x 407 mm.

Jeffrey Harris, Crucifixion and Figures in a Landscape, 2021, oil on board, 310 x 421 mm.

Jeffrey Harris, Parallax, 2021, oil on board, 318 x 380 mm.

Jeffrey Harris, Possession, 2021, oil on board, 324 x 409 mm.

Jeffrey Harris, Deposition, 2021, oil on board, 428 x 318 mm.

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