The show is comprised of seven small works, ranging from ten inches square to three by four feet. Meticulously researched and, like Old Master paintings, loaded with minute symbolic details, these represent everything Harkness has completed in the three years since her last exhibition. The subjects reveal Harkness's inquisitive regard for hierarchical societies, whether a 19th century gold mining camp, a WWII garrison or battleship, or the present-day Christie's auction house at Rockefeller Center. The societies depicted, however, share a distinctive quirk: they are populated exclusively by women who are carnal, industrious, cultured,and often sadistic and unclothed. The most recent painting in the show -a drawing-room portrait of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas - touches on these themes obliquely, and hints at a new tenor in Harkness's work.
The exhibition, at 745 Fifth Avenue, will run through 28 June 2008.