Robert Harms: Paintings

April 1 - May 10, 2015


Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects presents a solo exhibition of recent oil paintings by Robert Harms in our project space at 237 Eldridge Street. These paintings date from the 2013-15.

Harms’ painterly abstractions come out of the tradition of abstract expressionism. His work is based on a strong relationship to place. Harms lives in Southampton, Long Island, on the edge of a pond. His secluded, window-filled studio overlooks the water. “At the end of the day, the light just bounces off the pond and into this space. It’s like I’m living on a boat!” Harms’ thin, evanescent surfaces are suffused with this shimmering East End light.

Harms has moved away from his earlier densely painted surfaces to more delicate, almost embroidery-like color tracery surrounded by a white border of primed canvas. His new paintings evoke the same sense of specificity of place and light as his earlier work but do it with pared down means and a misty, watercolor-like transparency.

The curator and art critic Henry Geldzahler notes the resonance of the East End environment for Harms, who began painting here in the early 1980s. “Born on Long Island, in Nassau County, it seems no accident that Harms has chosen to paint in the Hamptons where in the nineteenth century John Kensett, and more recently Fairfield Porter and Willem de Kooning, have continued their exploration of the continuum between nature and art.“ Curator Klaus Kertess, addressing the relationship of Harms’ abstractions to their landscape, describes them as “more caressed by light and brush than tightly described…”

Harms attended The School of Visual Arts in New York City and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. He is the recipient of awards from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the National Arts Club, and his work is in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Parrish Art Museum.