December 29th, 2022 - January 22nd, 2023
Weatherproof is proud to present a solo exhibition of new paintings by Allegra Harvard. 12 of them.
The show will open on December 29th, with an opening from 6-9pm, and will run through January 29th.
Ever constant, a deep interest in painting’s role in contemporary art continues to drive the practice of young artists. Never has that position been made more evident than in recent work from the studio of Chicago artist Allegra Harvard. Working through their ideas via several avenues of enquiry, Harvard has arrived at a place rich with allusion and promise.
Like many young artists, Harvard has developed a visual language through the mechanics of mark-making and expression. That strategy serves them well, resulting in an impressive body of paintings deeply aware of the emotive potential of form. Light and color—as well as layers of marks built up and worked to a burnished surface—suggest a desire for an essential image framed through a familiar lens of pictorial space. These paintings come as if cropped from larger, heavier bodies or wider panoramic landscapes. With a willingness to edit down to arrive at the primary position and purest result, this is an artist aware of what it means to achieve the objective of clarity.
One satisfying facet of this work is the drama stirred up from the merger of compressive and expansive forces. Fighting to break free of the constraints of the picture plane, the environments in these paintings work hard to move themselves away from the restrictions of any given viewpoint. We’re left with a glimpse of a single moment as the images glide past. The window frame stops that trajectory and firmly holds the moment in place. The tension resulting from those opposing forces keeps the energy very much alive in this work.
Harvard takes that interest in pressure and applies it directly to the production of the work. Literally pushing the material into and around the surface perfectly illustrates the idea that “form carries meaning forward.” We feel the urgency of an artist attempting to arrive at the most succinct version of any given moment. Stopping a gesture at the exact point at which an event will shift or transform, we’re also held in place as we look on. It’s the energy of the mark-making and the viscerality of the material that keeps each visual event animated and alive.
This work reflects a maximalist approach to emotional fervor but a minimalist sense of thoughtful editing. Left with only what is necessary through the painting and drawing process, Harvard leaves us with the most decisive moments of these richly constructed worlds. This is exciting work made by an artist willing to push through to find the answers to an invigorating set of new questions.