Exhibition

Rachel Harrison

This fall, the Astrup Fearnley Museet will host a major solo exhibition by the American artist Rachel Harrison (b. New York, 1966).

Emphasizing recent practice, the selection of works will surface new points of connection amid the teeming variety for which Harrison is known. Spanning mediums that include sculpture, drawing, photography and painting, her work takes a porous, hybrid approach to objects both made and found. Abstraction is shot through with vernacular references to jarring, often comic effect, as formalist concerns are forced to vie with rogue elements from the outside world. 

Harrison’s nimble, layered method of artmaking has always escaped easy categorization, but persists in devising ways to reframe the viewer’s encounter with her surroundings. Cultural tokens, the history of art, and space itself come in for new scrutiny, leveling hierarchies through a democratizing process of sifting and accumulation. Overrunning distinctions between sculpture and base, Harrison has often made packing crates or stray cardboard boxes the material of her constructions, co-opting the very modes of conveyance used to ship and store the commercial goods that populate her work. Devices from the lower rungs of the art world’s supply chain also appear in various forms, as sculpture absorbs the plinths, stanchions, and protective bonnets on and through which art is seen. That alertness to conditions of display extends to her room-scaled approach to this exhibition, which the artist describes as neither a survey nor a retrospective, but rather an intuitive remapping of her latest work’s conceptual coordinates. 


Image: Rachel Harrison, Venus, 2021 (detail). Courtesy the artist, Regen Projects, Los Angeles, and Greene Naftali, New York. Photo: Evan Bedford.