Whit Harris debuts Water Bearers at Lauren Powell Projects in L.A.

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Whit Harris debuts Water Bearers at Lauren Powell Projects in L.A.
Whit Harris in front of her site-specific mural, part of 'Water Bearers', on view at Lauren Powell Projects, Los Angeles. Photo: Off Photography.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Lauren Powell Projects is presenting its third exhibition Water Bearers, the debut solo exhibition by Brooklyn-born and based Whit Harris, now open through June 5th. Water Bearers includes a series of five new oil paintings, the works on paper that informed them, and a site-specific installation that transports the viewer into a sublime space of gestural mark making. The space engulfs both the audience and the artwork in an oceanic carrier for the imagination. Informed by the artist’s love for ancient cosmology, astrological symbolism, and the water, she depicts philosophical parables of her lived experiences as a Black woman combining her awareness and skill with narratives and symbols from the past.

A recent graduate of the MFA Program at Hunter College in New York, Whit Harris’s inky, surreal canvases and works on paper conjure fantastical figures in moments of vulnerable introspection in a monochromatic or limited color palette. Her aquatic scenes, featuring mermaids, fish, plants, and skulls dissipating and materializing among a lush habitation, draw on a variety of sources including Buddhism, Hellenistic astrology, and Surrealism. Inspired by modernists like Picasso and Chagall, these imaginary, murky realms are rife with subconscious symbolism, offering a glimpse into the intuitive and sensual nature of her psyche composes surreal figurative drawings, paintings, and sculptures in a monochromatic or limited color palette.

Harris’s exhibitions include We Were Never Gone at Hauser & Wirth in New York, and Flesh and Time and Bread and Friends at Galerie Christine Mayer in Munich. Whit attended the Artist in Residence at Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Norwalk, Connecticut in 2019, and will be participating in a clay residency at Artshack in Brooklyn this summer. Harris completed her MFA at Hunter College and BA at Stony Brook University. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Lauren Powell– a curator, art advisor, and contemporary art enthusiast– has remained deeply involved with both the New York and Los Angeles art communities since 2018. She recently opened Lauren Powell Projects in Los Angeles to present emerging, underrepresented artists and site-specific installations that appeal to both art experts and novices alike. Her mission is to make the art world more inclusive and accessible to all. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Powell curated 9 in-person exhibitions and 28 digital ones. Empowering artists with disabilities, she was an art advisor for Exceptional Artist Foundation in New York. Her work has been featured in Artnet, Artsy, Hyperallergic, The Art Newspaper, and W Magazine.

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