CMAD curates three display cases on the mezzanine level of The Commons, overlooking Chaos I by Jean Tinguely. The cases display a diverse range of small and medium sized three-dimensional work by local and regional artists.
The Commons, 2nd Floor
300 Washington Street
Scaffold: Recent work by Brian Harper
August 13-October 1, 2017
In the Scaffolding Series work, I am interested in the combination of the handmade and the machine-made, and building forms that merge the two to function as one whole.
The branding of the JCPenny Home™ Collection feeds off of our associations with the “home” – an abstract notion that includes much more than the physical structure of the space. For example, when thinking of “home”, one might imagine the smells, the colors and light, the people and pets in the space, and the location and environment of where the home is. None of these qualities are rendered in the stark white and pared down vessels of the Home™ Collection, only in the stamped name on the underside.
Furthermore, JCPenney advertises the Home™ Collection as “imported” whiteware dishes that can “set your table with a timeless touch”. The vessels are indeed “timeless” in the sense that they are void of any sign of the maker and any notion of geography or geology. A conundrum exists, however, when the seriality of these objects becomes a beautiful thing. Their sameness allow for an alternate form to emerge in their repetition as the dishes are stacked onto and inside the scaffolding.
In this work, I am interested in visualizing and building a scaffolding structure that supports, yet is shaped by the very thing it is supporting. In this way, the handmade and machine-made are combined and the two are rendered as one. As binaries, they work together to create things that, as the JCPenny Home™ Collection would advertise, are “perfect for everyday use or special occasions”.
About the Artist:
Brian Harper is an Associate Professor of Fine Art and Head of the Ceramics Area at Indiana University Southeast. He holds a BFA from Northern Arizona University and an MA and MFA from the University of Iowa. His work has been exhibited in over 100 national and international exhibitions, including 7 solo exhibitions. In addition to his studio practice, he is the Founder and Executive Director of Artaxis Organization Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization with over 500 members in over 30 countries worldwide. Widely used as a resource by the general public, gallerists and curators, art centers, universities, students, and professional artists, Artaxis.org promotes the professional pursuits of artists, while providing visitors to the website a wide array of peer-reviewed artwork relevant to the critical discourse in contemporary ceramic art. He was awarded tenure and promotion to Associate Professor at IU Southeast in 2015, and has been the recipient of two IU Trustees Teaching Awards, as well as four Summer Faculty Fellowships to pursue his creative research. Currently, he is living in New Albany, Indiana with his wife Tiffany and their two dogs, Oliver and Crunch.