The paintings in Alfred Harris’s third solo show at Froelick Gallery in Portland reference the poem “Drummer Hodge” by Thomas Hardy. The poem describes the informal burial of a young English soldier killed during the Boer Wars of colonial South Africa. Like the poem, Harris�s paintings are about dislocation and reassemblage. D.K. Row in The Oregonian says that the numerous cut-and-pasted sections that Harris uses in his collaged paintings suggest an affinity for printmaking techniques and a desire to push the limits of two-dimensionality. “He uses this technique in the Froelick show to create images of rangy, biomorphic shapes infused by a variety of colors that again attest to his brilliance in that regard. From a distance, some of the figures look like a group of swimming amoebas seen through a microscope, though a group never out of synchronization. Though he cuts and pastes different parts often in each work, Harris still achieves a kind of compositional unity, a musical symmetry in these surreal images that owe inspiration to the works of Paul Klee and Joan Miro.” Read more.
“Alfred Harris: Drummer Hodge,” Froelick Gallery, Portland, OR. Through March 5.