Writer and Multimedia Artist
Studio Harris- Mission district, San Francisco, Ca. Please scroll down on every page.
San Francisco/Oakland, CA., CA
Abstract Paths to Freedom
The Sculpture of Jerry Harris
Maria Pia Cappello- Rome, Italy
" The Armies of The Night." Bronze, forged iron, and found objects. No. 58 on side bar. Collection: Ms. Kitty Fasset,
Jerry Harris's art consists in the work's construction and combination from previous to modern methods of sculpting and modeling in order to effect the abstract penetration of form in the sculpture of bodies and spaces. His thin, round, and pointed silhouette forms acquire psychological, sexual, sensual and social significance, and can be interpreted in so many ways and remember Samuel Taylor Coleridge's verses: " Walls and towers were
girdled round...the shadow of dome pleasure floated midway on waves.
It was a miracle of a rare device--a damsel with a dulcimer in a vision once I saw her symphony and song. I would build that dome in air--close your eyes and drunk the milk of Paradise."
Harris uses bronze, fiberglass, chrome, iron, laminated clay, wood, and disparate found objects. He then moulds compositions to suggest hitherto unexpressed thoughts and deeper unconsciousness suggested in The Last Flight of Icarus, Captured Forms in Space, and Night Rider.
Henry Moore said, "Art is abstract in one sense," and Harris's allusive representations arouse in the observer associations of ideas and thought that renew the relationship between sculpture, memories, primitave art, and surrounding spaces, as we can grant in his excellent works, "Me'nage a trois" and "Reclining Warrior: Homage to Henry Moore.
Maillol affirmed that," Negro Art contains more ideas than Greek Art. We no longer know how to take such liberties; we are too much tied to the past." Picasso described it as "reasonable." Mattise asserted that, "It was based on material and invented proportions and form."
Harris, in his sculpture "Dogon Mother and Child," underlines the strength, and stems from the art form of primitive people expressed in his maternal attractive and frankly primordal Eden-like existence.
For Plato and Airistotle, man was regarded as the homo symbolicum--the creative whose distinct character was the creation and manipulation of signs.
Harris's man has discovered his own new world that is concentrated on the interplay of "correspondences" employing a metaphor as a means of detachment or criticism, parody or irony.
By catching movement in the significant instant and seeking to seize the fugitive movements, the sculpture becomes a sort of victory over pain and defeat, remembering Baudelaire's verses, "Everything is allegory."
The French man Paul Claudel, poet and brother of the sculptor Camille Claudel--lover to Rodin, said, Aprés le long silence fulmant...haleine la terre en culture l'Esprit de nouveau, soudain le souffle de nouveau."
Jerry Harris's works form a mass with the ground, but they interrelate within the atmosphere created by the sculptor and each figure rises to a solitary apex, creating an impression of individual reserve, lifting the viewer's imagination to his or her own devices.
However, in his anthromorphic, biomorphic, and geometric representation, Harris transports peasant and worker's tools poetically into an empty space from which they radiate into manifold directions obtaining metal work sculptures naturally brought into close touch with the implements of life.
It is important to notice that between Picasso's cubist and surrealist constructions, Harris has a much stronger, more spectacular "social" interest in a tribal art connecting him to Breton's quotation, "Man...is above all, the plaything of his memory."
The idea conveyed is that the past is contained in the present, and is part of it. It is an impression---a sensation, a remembrance bringing emotions of that past to the surface.
This is Marcel Proust's theory of recollection, of emotional memory, according to which he sought and lived the past over again. Since man has cultivated his rational powers, Harris's task is to heal irrational and dull spirits by restoring man's constructive impulses and in Harris's case, using all the shapes that create emotive images in his sculptures.
Jerry Harris displays the technical complexities which establishes him as one of the great Post-Post Modernists. In his sculptures, he moulds the dynamism of open aerial forms.
They are disengaged from the static problems of the equilibrium of masses where shapes are not opposed rigorously, but rendered ungraspable, totally abstract, by their projection in space, breathing the air of life.
Moreover, we can say that Harris's Modernity oscillates between different poles: The everyday impression, the fleeting instant, History, Knowledge, the delights of sense perception, rapid glimpses, allegories and abstract paths to freedom.
Copyright 2013, Maria Pia Cappello. All rights reserved.
Sculptor Jerry Harris with "Dogon Mother and Child." Carved Wood and Fiberglass
"Creating by the dock of the bay."
The American sculptor Jerry Harris was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. His date of birth doesn't interest him. Harris lived in Stockholm, Sweden for many years until the death of his wife, the Swede Britt-Marie Olofsson-Harris. Career highlights.
Harris entered the advertising world after leaving San Francisco State University and became a Jr. Executive creative writer for men's wear, Macy's of California. He left there and was hired as the first African American on-air writer and producer for KGO TV ( ABC Channel 7) San Francisco.
Sick of the commercial world, he left the United States and moved to Sweden with his wife and son Andreas, returning to study sculpture under professor James Lee Hansen, a leading Pacific Northwest sculptor who taught until his retirement at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon.
Harris was later accepted into The International Sculptor's Program at St. Martins School of Art, London, England (now called Central St. Martins School of Art). His teachers there were the international sculptors Sir. Anthony Caro, Philip King, and Tim Scott. Frank Martin was department head. "Are you happy here?" asked Frank Martin, his tutor.
Harris said yes, but he was absolutely not happy. They were into direct metal sculpture and he was into bronze. The school made arrangements for him to take classes(unclassified student) at the Central School of Art and Design, London.
There, Harris studied bronze casting under Henry Abercrombie, Lecturer in Bronze Casting, and master in this field. After his London studies(declaring that art schools were a waste of time), he returned to Stockholm where he lived for many years. Mr. Harris is also an accomplished writer and university lecturer in sculpture.
George Murphy, Stockholm, Sweden
Studio Jerry Harris San Francisco/Chico, Ca.
University of California, Chico
" I stopped into the Art Foundry Gallery, Sacramento, Ca. (August 2010) to see your exhibition and I was bowled over by it. I'm in awe and admiration of anyone with the genius to create something so expressive out of hard and unyielding materials. Your sculptures certainly have a life of their own--They say so much and so much more eloquently than words ever could. You are a marvel Jerry--a really great artist. The layout of the exhibition is excellent too, I think, with spots of color in your collages setting off the more stark simplicity of the sculptures which I think are placed very effectively. One of my favorites is your very strong, "Armies of the Night" placed in a more or less central location, contrasting with the very fluid, "menage a trois" silhouetted behind it. The exhibit is a joy and I am so delighted that I had a chance to see it."
Opening Show. Jerry Harris at The Art Foundy and Art Gallery, Sacramento, Ca. August-September 2010.
The Sculpture World of Jerry Harris
by Dr. Suzanne Fredericq is available at barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com
Member of the Swedish Sculptors Association, Stockholm, Sweden, and The Artists Rights Society, New York City, New York. He is a pass member of The associated Artists of Pittsburgh, Pa, the nation's second oldest art association in the United States.
San Francisco/Oakland, CA., CA