STEEL STACK SCULPTURES
Galvin Harrison's new sculpture works literally appear to have morphed out of his recent drawing and painting into the third dimension, through an artistic process seemingly both logical and radical. As usual, Galvin Harrison’s shows a meticulous command of his medium. The sculptures are remarkably beautiful composites of black iron hovering over white backgrounds, ambiguous or even elegiac in their fragmented states. The different sculptures make up a stunning typology, when seen as a whole. The similarities and differences are apparent as the eye oscillates and engages the compositae of broken shapes and shadowplay.
While Galvin Harrison’s sculptures are directly related to his own paintings they point beyond themselves and invite us reflect at length about their position in the history of art. The sculptures might remind us of Franz Klein’s edgy black and white paintings or Robert Motherwell’s obsessive “Elegy to the Spanish Republic” suite. It is also possible to view Galvin Harrison’s sculptures as architectural studies, energized by a simultaneous resolution and dissolution of form and henceforth function. The American artist Robert Smithson’s seminal essay “A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic...1967” comes to mind as an interesting point of departure to further discuss this dichotomy. Smithson took a trip into the post industrial terrain of his native New Jersey. Here Smithson subverts the romantic idea that time creates ruins and suggests instead, that the cheap new commercial and residential buildings rise to be instant ruins - ruins in reverse.
Galvin Harrison’s sculptures are manifestations of precisely that ambiguous space of the half broken or half built structure. Interestingly, Galvin Harrison’s black surfaces have a stage-like appearance, with all the possible social and political associations that we can think of. A most fitting metaphor for a contemporary work of art by a very important artist.
Hans Manner Jakobsen 2007.