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Jennifer Slavin Harris: The (missing) Piece

November 20, 2019 - December 28, 2019

70 John Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201 United States
Thursday-Saturday, 1-7 PM
(917) 584 0579

Undercurrent is pleased to announce The (missing) Piece, a solo show of assemblage by Jennifer Slavin Harris. The exhibition embodies the artist’s mixed media practice since 2006 and speaks to today’s disposable consumer culture.

Discarded materials from curbsides, coastlines, and carpenters’ dumpsters have been salvaged and up-cycled to invite curiosity and enthrall the viewer. A visual stimulation transpires through relational textures, materials, and surfaces, all at once making one forget, yet wonder and recollect the objects’ being. These urban artifacts favor the aesthetic of traditional Japanese wabi-sabi—a world view that embraces impermanence and the beauty of imperfection.

Demolition and construction are some of the human impacts that generate the array of textures visible within Harris’s work. Splintered wood, flattened metal, and cracked plastics are combined and augmented through additive and subtractive methods, highlighting their deterioration while preserving them in a new arrangement. Harris states, Sometimes there is an instantaneous fit, but, more often, there is an ongoing meditation in my studio as works remain vulnerable in their semi-permanent state. It’s not until I bring out the glue, clamps, and screws that the alchemy begins to solidify. The missing piece often awaits.

While flirting with references to Dada, Arte Povera, Robert Rauschenberg, Joseph Cornell, and Richard Tuttle, Harris resurrects and coaxes “found objects” to speak a new tongue: minimalist, abstract, yet refined through her finesse. Throwing something “away” is a pervasive illusion, in reality, there is no “away”—there are only growing landfills, more effective recycling, and new purpose to old materials and debris. While honoring cycles, her works connect two different poles: the pleasures of the intuitive, emotional, and passionate realm with the intellectual, structured world of purposeful will. In Harris’s work, everything has its place and logic.