Wednesday, May 18, 2016

TIMOTHY HARDING at Cris Worley Fine Arts


Installation View

Repost of ModernDallas.net article.

Another fascinating show at Cris Worley Fine Arts is up. Timothy Harding is currently exhibiting his painting hybrids in a show titled Skin. Unfortunately, Friday, May 7th is the last day for this body of work. So, if you haven’t seen it, you have a day left to view his engaging art.

Who is Timothy Harding? He is an artist that has been very active in the local DFW scene. Polishing off a BFA and a MFA from local universities, a former active member of 500x, and he was also throwing it down with the Homecoming! Committee artist collective. He has done countless shows and his work has been featured with Cris Worley Fine Arts for about two years. His work has dealt with the fundamentals of art production. I could imagine Harding saying, “what is drawing, what is sculpture, what is a painting?” Then he pushes those defining terms of art production to the limits until he creates a hybrid art piece or an art piece that plays right up to the edge of the defining features. I think that push towards the edge is why I continue to respond to his work in such a positive way.

Painting has been coming off the wall for some time now and Timothy Harding’s paintings look as if his are about to fall off the stretchers. The canvas just rolls and hangs making his hard edge straight painted lines appear warped. I was reminded of Oscar Murillo’s MOMA show where he had paintings folded and lying on the floor. Only Harding is more concerned with a level of craft rather than pure expression. The Murillo and Harding paintings smashed what was left of the myth of the picture being a window to another world. Not that the window metaphor hasn’t been destroyed over and over again. From hints of Harding’s past work, I also get the feeling he is blending the painting with ideas that relate to relief sculpture. Maybe it’s because Frank Stella’s retrospective is at the Fort Worth Modern, but I see a kind of kinship between Harding and Stella. Both are debating the limits between painting and relief sculpture. Plus, the minimalism of Harding’s current work and Stella’s old work seem to relate because of their use of the formalist elements of line to make a picture.

Some of these paintings are made of assembled strips that create a kind of collage. I was a little puzzled by these paintings at first, but on reflection, they do fit his mode of operation in creating works. I have seen him deconstruct drawings in similar ways. I personally responded more to the uniquely stretched canvas pieces. The folds and waves flew in the face of painting convention and for that I applaud his show. Although the time is short to see Timothy Harding’s show, at least his work will be making way for yet another fascinating artist, Maysey Craddock. Her opening will be May 14th.

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