AOS Artist Directory | 

Michael Harnett

Michael Harnett

Graphite and Oil & Wax on Gessoed Panels

Location @ AOS:

Arlington Center for the Arts (20 Academy St)

Well, it’s amazing that I’ve been playing with paints and drawing materials since crawling on all fours making marks on the wall much to the dismay of my mom and dad. They of course saw my bubbling creative playfulness as a little peculiar but that didn’t stop their support. These wall creations were the beginning of a lifelong passion. I have benefited from remarkable and generous teachers from Lower Merion high school, Tyler school of Art in Elkins Park, PA (BFA and teachers certification) and Villa Schifanoia, Florence Italy (Rosary College-MFA).
Before my career as a data analyst with the social research firm Abt Associates, I taught visual arts in Philadelphia, Florence, Italy and Connecticut. I was represented by Katharina Rich Perlow gallery in New York city from 1988 to 2008. Works are in private collections in the USA, Italy, Ireland and Australia
My current art works comprise of paintings on panels and graphite drawings on gessoed panels
My large oil and wax paintings on birch veneer panels are noted in images 7-15. Most of the images present a tall, narrow perspective of ground to sky or floor to ceiling views. By working in this long narrow format, I study the nature of the visual experience. Executed in meticulous detail [a result of my study of 14th – 16th century painting while living three years in Italy] , these narrative paintings hope to recreate an otherwise impossible feat of vertical peripheral vision which hopefully rewards the viewer with vivid detail, imaginative symbolism and intricate patterning . For me, a few of these are personal elegiac shrines commemorating specific memories of place and times. They are memorials to people I have known and loved. I hope that the curious format and intriguing subjects of these visuals invite intensive examination.

In contrast, most of my recent graphite drawings (slides 2-6) are intimate natural detailed images and personal multi panel narratives. These works are influenced by the works of Samual Palmer, Eastern miniatures, Jan Van Eyck paintings and drawings and my love of music and poetry. At ACA, I recently began a series of drawings loosely based on Rilke’s “Duino Elegies”. During Open Studios, I’ll be displaying some of these drawings and a few smaller paintings. I am looking forward to showing you these smaller works and discussing my creative process.