HAMBURG.- Kunstverein Hamburg
goes Berlin: On invitation by the Volksbühne the Kunstverein Hamburg curates an exhibition with works of the American graphic designer Charley Harper at the pavilion at RosaLuxemburg-Platz, Berlin. The exhibition presents a collection of app. 35 works that had been shown at the Kunstverein Hamburg in Summer 2011.
Birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, fish, the artwork of wildlife artist Charley Harper (1922 2007) is a visual ecosystem in which elements of colour, shapes, lines and subjects are interrelated, interdependent and perfectly balanced. Harper had an unique ability to capture the essence of any living organism. His works still challenges our previous perceptions of nature, and offers a new and unexpected way to enjoy it, both visually and verbally. In a style he called minimal realism, Charley Harper captured the essence of his subjects with the fewest possible visual elements. As an artist, he was less interested in creating the illusion of dimension than he was in capturing the infinite patterns and designs of nature. Unlike traditional super realistic wildlife art, his is flat, simple, playful and funny. When asked once to describe his unique visual style, he responded: When I look at a wildlife or nature subject, I dont see the feathers in the wings, I just count the wings. I see exciting shapes, colour combinations, patterns, textures, fascinating behaviour and endless possibilities for making interesting pictures.
He contrasted his nature-oriented artwork with the realism of John James Audubon, drawing influence from Cubism and Minimalism. His style distilled and simplified complex organisms and natural subjects without losing identity, yet they are often arranged in a complex fashion. Using his mechanical drawing tools: ruling, pen and compass, Tsquare, triangles and French curves, Harper drew orthographically, using direct front, rear, side, top and bottom views to reveal the uniqueness of the creature he depicted.
For the exhibition in the pavilion of the Volksbühne at Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Berlin the Kunstverein produces a special display that reflects the open room structure and includes the works in form and content.