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Melbourne contemporary artist Brent Harris exhibits at the National Gallery of Victoria
Brent Harris, On Becoming (Yellow no. 3) 1996. Colour screenprint, ed. 16/20, 95.0 x 51.4 cm (image), 121.8 x 77.5 cm (sheet). National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Gift of Mark Grant through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program, 2011
© Brent Harris.

MELBOURNE.- The National Gallery of Victoria opened the highly anticipated self-titled exhibition of Melbourne contemporary artist, Brent Harris.

Dr Gerard Vaughan, Director, NGV said: “Brent Harris is one of Australia’s most celebrated artists and we are delighted to be showcasing a solo exhibition of his work.”

Brent Harris features works that span more than two decades and represent significant stages in the artist’s career. Well known for haunting imagery that often drifts between abstraction and figuration, Harris’s paintings, prints and drawings are often motivated by an exploration of personal memories and the expression of psychological states.

Jane Devery, Assistant Curator Contemporary Art, NGV said: “Harris’s creative output has been marked by a number of aesthetic shifts. He’s an artist who has continually challenged his own approach to image-making to develop a highly distinctive visual language.

“This exhibition is deliberately arranged in a non-chronological way, offering an opportunity for visitors to consider connections between works that, in some cases, have been produced decades apart. It will no doubt encourage a fresh assessment of the artist’s work to-date and a keen interest in what Harris may produce in the future,” said Ms Devery.

Drawn from the NGV Collection, with the addition of a small number of private loans, Brent Harris comprises more than 80 important works. The exhibition follows the development of the artist’s unique vision from his earliest drawings through to his most recent paintings and prints.

A highlight of the exhibition is the inclusion of a number of new acquisitions including a group of the artist’s most recent paintings from 2011. Intuitively composed, these vibrant, colourful works signal a significant new phase in Harris’s career that marks a radical departure from the meticulously executed paintings for which he is best known.

Another highlight is the inclusion of a selection of new prints from the series the fall 2012 that have never been exhibited before. Charged with a dream-like quality, these exciting new works offer audiences the opportunity to see the very latest developments in Harris’s art.

Dr Vaughan said that this exhibition was especially significant as it also highlights the relationship between artist and gallery.

“Harris is well known at the NGV having spent many hours here studying the extensive and magnificent paintings and prints and drawings collection. It is an honour for the Gallery to present this solo exhibition of his work - a special opportunity for all Melburnians,” said Dr Vaughan.

Brent Harris is on display at NGV International from 10 March to 12 August 2012. Open 10am–5pm, Wed–Mon. Entry is free.

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