Patrick Holderfield

Pilgrim
A sculptural installation paired with new works on paper
September 7th-30th, 2006


James Harris Gallery is pleased to present a new body of work by Patrick Holderfield. In his exploration into pilgrimages, inappropriate expressions of emotion, fire (arson), transformation, paths, conflict and environment, Holderfield continues to create images and objects that require emotional and intellectual engagement.

As with his 2004 show, Holderfield continues to translate his well-known landscapes into a sculptural installation. Immediately recognizable as part of Holderfield’s oeuvre, the artist has created a decimated grove of rich black trees, verdant anthropomorphic sculptures, and architectural elements. Its place in our physical space demands that we transcend the page and literally walk through the artist’s narrative. Appropriately titled Pilgrim, the show thus becomes an exploration – a pilgrimage of sorts – in which we have to negotiate our bodies inside of a sculptural drawing.

Formally, Holderfield’s work has long tackled the plight of the contemporary human condition by creating a delicate balance between chaos and order and between the synthetic and the organic. His latest installation is no different. Both figuratively and metaphorically the artist brings together disparate elements, challenging our experience of things that are traditionally in opposition.

As we wander through Holderfield’s sculptural landscape, we simultaneously experience beauty and repulsion, life and death. Amidst fire and destruction, vibrant signs of life emerge. A path becomes apparent. Distorted organic forms resonate against deeply mottled fire-blackened trees. A warm glow peaks through the thin slates of an ominous shed.

With this complex layering of imagery Pilgrim explores not only our environmental situation but also our emotional core. Like the beauty in a train wreck, the installation keeps the viewer looking and searching for answers.

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