Harry Gould Harvey IV: The Confusion of Tongues! at Bureau, New York
16 Jan 2020 – 27 Feb 2021
All Images courtesy of Bureau
Between me and youse…
We lost track of the light, it flickered away
Between the gray gusts of changing times.
Trying to track the trails of where the birds had flown.
Skimmers and seagulls chucking clams from their beaks, crackin’
Muscle shells on church spires,
Smokestacks top factory peaks.
We can try and rebuild from the rubble and ash beneath so long as the fires stay calm,
And we can still breathe.
Not a line left in the sky.
Of where the birds had flown…
Bureau is pleased to announce The Confusion of Tongues!, Harry Gould Harvey IV’s first one-person exhibition with the gallery. The above poem was written by the artist and speaks of Harvey’s native Fall River, on Massachusetts’s Mount Hope Bay, once a major manufacturing hub and port city. The Confusion of Tongues! synthesizes many strands of the artist’s thinking around the history, architecture, culture and ecology of the south coast region. The exhibition features Harvey’s signature hand-framed drawings, replete with symbolic geometry and diagrammatic text, framed with carved, foraged wood. Harvey also debuts works of much larger scale, including three wooden sculptures composed of architectural supports salvaged from a Gilded Age mansion in Newport Rhode Island. The gothic vernacular that viewers are accustomed to in Harvey’s work is scaled up in these sculptures; private altars expand to grand arches and corbels. Harvey has recently begun casting small hand molded wax objects into white bronze, which bracket, support and adorn the salvaged wood structures. All the works in the exhibition bear the trace of many hours of labor by the artist, from the milling, working and carving of wood, to the minute pencil details of written text and drawing. The many bronze elements throughout the exhibition shine brightly, painstakingly polished to a mirror finish by Harvey. The comparative luster and permanence of the bronze contrasts with the ephemeral nature of the wood, which here is stripped, charred and burned black. For Harvey this process neutralizes the grandiose gothic constructions, built by anonymous laborers for robber barons, while also unearthing the wood’s embedded history and origin.
Harry Gould Harvey IV (b. 1991 Fall River, MA) lives and works in Fall River, MA. Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include Coniunctio, with Kyung-Me, Bureau, New York, 2019; EARTH CRISIS, with Samantha Durand, Alyssa Davis Gallery, New York, 2018; Amen, Thanks Computer God!, with Jesse Sullivan, Freddy, Harris, NY, 2018; Prudence, Patience, Hope & Despair, Motel, Brooklyn, 2018; Harry Gould Harvey IV with Species, Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, 2018. Harvey is a founder of the curatorial project Pretty Days and co-director of the Fall River Museum of Contemporary Art, Fall River, MA. Harvey is preparing for a two-person exhibition with Faith Wilding at the David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island for 2022.