a large artwork by Brent Harris featuring a mountain next to a a large window with a mountain a large artwork by Brent Harris featuring a mountain next to a a large window with a mountain

Brent Harris, peaks (vision over Taranaki) 2019, oil on linen, 220.0 x 160.0 cm. Collection of David Cleary, Sydney. Installation view, Brent Harris: Surrender & Catch, TarraWarra Museum of Art, 2023 © Brent Harris. Photographer: Andrew Curtis.

Brent Harris, Australia, born 4 October 1956, Appalling Moment (wig), 1995, Melbourne, oil on canvas, 121.6 x 98.6 cm; Gift of Michael Galimany through the Art Gallery of South Australia Contemporary Collectors 2018. Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gift Program, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, © Brent Harris.

Brent Harris: Surrender & Catch

Past Exhibitions
2 December 2023 - 11 March 2024

This exhibition, curated by Maria Zagala, explores the work of senior contemporary Australian artist Brent Harris. Moving between figuration and abstraction, Harris deploys both humour and the grotesque to examine psychological subject matter and visualise his complex and contradictory feelings. Indeed, the exhibition title refers to Harris’ interest in sociologist Kurt H. Wolff’s notion of ‘surrender and catch’ as a process for self-analysis and as a method of working.

Addressing the experience of the body and desire, faith (and the question of what follows death), and childhood memories of porous familial relationships, Harris’ ambiguous forms derive from his use of the Surrealist technique of automatic drawing to access unconscious imagery. Working concurrently across painting, printmaking and drawing, Harris has developed a generative methodology, where each medium feeds the development of his art in unexpected ways.

Surrender & Catch showcases Art Gallery of South Australia’s significant collection of Harris’ work, including the important gift of works by James Mollison AO and Vincent Langford. Augmented by important works from the TarraWarra Museum of Art collection and loans from public and private collections, it charts a journey from The Stations (1989), Harris’ first major series exploring the death of his friends to AIDS, to his return to the subject in 2021. The exhibition emphasises the crosspollination of imagery and the development of forms in his printmaking, drawing and painting practice.

Co-presented with the Art Gallery of South Australia



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