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Brad Harms, "Hey Picasso," 2013 48 x 36", acrylic on canvas.
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"Dual Color Double Purple Green"
Brad Harms, "Dual Color Double Purple Green," 2013 30" x 24", acrylic on canvas.
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"A Good Year"
Brad Harms, "A Good Year," 2013 48 x 36", acrylic on canvas.
Winsor Gallery — $3,500 to $9,000
By Maureen Latta
What does it mean to be a painter in an era when machines can make things better than humans? Vancouver-based Bradley Harms explores that question with acrylic paintings that evoke digital images yet bear a human imprint. “My work is about what it means to make a painting right now in a screen culture or a speed culture,” he says.
Harms produces what he calls either freestyle or line paintings. The freestyles are “playgrounds” that inform the more controlled line paintings, he says. Yet there’s humanity in the Ragged Edge, a series of shimmering line paintings with imperfections around the borders.
The Winnipeg-born artist nudges colour field painting toward the more complex sense of the image in a digital age. “He’s doing something very timely that people can relate to,” says Sunshine Frère, associate director of Winsor Gallery. Frère notes the optical effects produced by solid colours over iridescent pinks and oranges. “His use of colour is very different from the palettes of a lot of artists out there.”
Harms, who earned a BFA from the University of Calgary and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, exhibits internationally in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Munich, Singapore and Tokyo. His paintings were included in Softcore Hard Edge, a 2010 group show in Los Angeles and Calgary co-curated by David Pagel, a critic at the Los Angeles Times, and Marianne Elder, a former curator at the Art Gallery of Calgary.