Michael Harvey presents a group of paintings from his 1980-81 series "Night Light Stations." The works in the series are all black and white photographic prints and paint on canvas. Dark, shadowy images of trains, telephones, hands, faces and airplanes interact with bright white beams and spots of light in the photographic blow-up that are applied to the surface of the canvas. The stark black and white painted portions of canvas are abstract extensions of the light depicted in the photographs. Harvey refers to his images as evoking what might be termed "domestic terrorism" and "the prevalent psychic conflict of desire and fear." His pictures, while non-narrative, juxtapose elements that formally and pictorially suggest tense anxiety-filled situations. Like filmic effects, they generate fictional statements that by virtue of their mnemonic power are psychologically resonant. The photographic entity, clearly separate from the painted canvas areas, serves as a reminder of the illusion of the presentation — where a painting of the same images itself becomes a reality.
"Harvey removes himself from the picture and uses various physical devices to mold his own conception of time and place." Ann-Sargent Wooster, The Soho News
"Michael Harvey reminds us that paintings can form a successful installation as he splits narrative among several surfaces. Night Train Express is a three-part painting; the left panel depicts a female blues singer; the middle one is a locomotive with its light shining; and the right panel is a thoroughgoing abstract painting, as that beam of light spreads to the corners of the canvas." William Zimmer, The Soho News
Michael Harvey was born in 1944 in England and now lives in New York. He has had one-person exhibits at MTL Gallery, Brussels; Centre d'Art Contemporain, Geneva; International Cultural Center, Antwerp, and P.S.1 in New York. His work has appeared in group shows at Artists Space, Paula Cooper Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and at Documenta V, Kassel, West Germany. His films and video work have been shown at Leo Castelli Gallery, the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and Anthology Film Archives; and the Museum of Art, Geneva.
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