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P·P·O·W to represent Hilary Harkness
Hilary Harkness, Blue Nude (detail), 2014. Oil on linen mounted on panel, 7 1/2 x 10 3/4 ins. 19.1 x 27.3 cm. Courtesy of Hilary Harkness and P•P•O•W, New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- PPOW announced it will now represent Hilary Harkness, an artist known for her detailed and meticulously crafted paintings. Harkness, an important mid-career painter, is an exciting addition to the PPOW roster which has platformed figurative painting since its founding in 1983. Harkness creates paintings that ingeniously fuse Old Master tactics with a distinctly contemporary sensibility, exploring power dynamics, war, and gender through an intersectional lens. Her works depict complex narratives that comment on the sociocultural forces at play in our current landscape, often drawing on her own personal and familial history for inspiration. The gallery will exhibit a series of new paintings by Harkness at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2019 and will present a solo exhibition by the artist in 2021.

“We are very excited to add Hilary Harkness to our roster, as she is a formidable painter who has influenced and foreshadowed the current generation of female figurative painters,” said PPOW co-founder Wendy Olsoff. “Harkness’s work is a natural addition to our gallery, as she questions and probes gender norms, champions strong female figures, and asks challenging questions about our racial and political landscape through her paintings.”

At Art Basel Miami Beach, PPOW will exhibit a series of new paintings by Harkness based on the mythology surrounding Winslow Homer’s painting, Prisoners From the Front (1866). This series, a reimagining of mid-19th century American history, was inspired by Harkness’s experiences copying Prisoners From the Front at the Metropolitan Museum of Art while members of her interracial family and other museum visitors shared their thoughts on the painting. The story begins as the Civil War draws to a close with Arabella, a well-to-do African-American (modeled after Harkness’s wife and muse), cutting a deal with General Francis Channing Barlow, the gender fluid Union soldier whose troops are quartered on Arabella’s land. Arabella hires the General to transport Confederate prisoners to Winslow Homer’s New York studio to commission the painting that will become Prisoners from the Front. Romances bloom, loyalties are tested and new alliances are forged as the party traverses America from Virginia to New York to the Frontier.

PPOW will present Harkness’s work to a global audience in the coming years and to highlight her persistent impact on her peers as well as the next generation of figurative artists working today.

Hilary Harkness (b. Detroit, Michigan (1971), lives and works in New York) is an award-winning painter whose work has been exhibited worldwide, including at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain; at the American Academy of Arts and Letters and at the Deste Foundation, Athens, Greece. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art. From 2003 to 2019, she was represented by Mary Boone Gallery. In 2017, she received the Henry Clews Award and participated in the inaugural Master Residency Program at the Chteau de La Napoule in France. She has lectured widely at leading academic and cultural institutions. In 2014, she co-curated Roy Lichtenstein: Nudes and Interiors at FLAG Art Foundation. Harkness graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California-Berkeley, where she studied biochemistry and art, and also holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Yale University School of Art.

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