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James Harvey

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Birth year

Lives in
San Miguel de Allende

Works in
San Miguel de Allende


RISD (Rhode Island School of Design)

Representing galleries
Lyman/Eyer Gallery Provincetown, MA.

sculpture, figurative, exhibition/performance, installation, mixed-media



When I work in a series it is to repeatedly test my motives and responses with one particular structure or device. The elements that begin to come to life appear to have grown there or somehow appear self-determined. The still life or figure is just an excuse; I'm trying to put myself within it and to be coherent. I don't have a destructive spirit;  I'm just stirring things up.

Using simple every day objects or the figure, I can concentrate on my techniques and visual devices to construct my images. By drawing or painting directly on the canvas, I overlap my images, either by painting , sewing other pieces of canvas or with transparent  fabric over them. The way the fabrics come together tells me where images should appear. A paint stroke or a position of one of the fabrics can completely change the sense of the painting.

What interests me is to think of my  work  as organic material, to feel it as pure material. These new surfaces jut out of the picture plane as well as sink into it ,creating a depth and excited visual surface that is almost like sculpture, it is sculpture. a sculpted canvas in which I explore with paint.

Each piece seams to lead me to a new bit of knowledge, a slight expansion of my vocabulary, one stage in the development of a personal philosophy.

September 11th installlation project

My own nightmares of September 11th have resulted in these images of the Twin Towers, airplanes,  helpless falling victums, faces peering through slits of  windows silently watching,  an American flag empty of color over which floats sheer fabric written with the names of those who perished in the disaster.  Using needle, thread and paint  I construct my images, combining two dimensional painting with sculpting the canvas or organdy into a free standing 3D sculpture.

The installation results in a powerful emotional statement when one walks into the room, the two ghostly shapes that descend from  the ceiling with their trailing tendrils brushing ashes on the floor sets the tone with its almost other-worldly recalling of the ghosts of the tragedy.  The walls are graced with eerily transparent airplanes drawn on organdy  sewn on overlapping stretchers that are covered with bare canvas, giving an unearthly yet mesmerizing effect. The second room's central piece cascades from the ceiling in an undulating cylinder of transparent organdy filled with blackened falling figures made of canvas. The walls depict watching figures peeking through windows, a man crushed by debris, and finally an American flag painted with heavily textured black paint  dripping no color, floating over the flag are all the names of the victums written on transparent organdy revealing the stars and stripes underneath. The amount of names packs a gut wrenching wallop when one sees the amount of fabric on the floor.

Hopefully my nightmares will decrease by executing this work and I can move on to my next project, but I know it will always be with me and be with us.

For my new work on transparent organdy, I depict separate images on multiple layers of organdy, one on top of another, creating a depth in the painting.  Using ink, I feel as if I am drawing on air, always thinking how the images line up as I am drawing them.


1987 B.A. Painting, Rhode Island School of Design

2012 "Spring Show" Lyman-Eyer Gallery
Provincetown, MA

2011 “September 11  10th Memorial Installation”
Fabrica la Aurora
San Miguel de Allende,  Mexico

2011 “New Modes of Seeing” Exhibition,
Experiments in Transparencies
San Miguel de Allende,  Mexico

2010 “Malintzin Society “The Other”
Invitational Show
Santa Barbara, CA.

2009 “Solo Show” 
Galeria Juarez
Mineral del Pozos,  Mexico

2008 "Sin Compromiso" Two Person Show
Galeria de Casa del Diezmo
Celaya,  Mexico 

2007 "Through the Looking Glass" Two Person Show”
Wheeler Gallery
Providence, RI

2006 “Two Person Show”
Narrows Gallery
Fall River, MA

1996 “Art of the Northeast Exhibition”
Silvermine Guild
New Cannan, CT

1994 “Art of the Northeast Exhibition”
Silvermine Guild
New Cannan, CT

1987 Virgina Lynch Gallery
Tiverton, RI

1987 Wood Gerry Gallery
Rhode Island School of Design
Senior Invitational

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