28 November 2015 - 28 March 2016
Renaissance Days presents a series of recent work by Jeffrey Harris, one of the senior figures of New Zealand painting. Diminutive in scale, yet loaded with intense detail and colour, Harris uses these works to push against his history and claim new territory for his practice.
Although they contain echoes of his past, this group of paintings reflect Harris's desire for newness and reinvention. Subjects sourced from personal archives have gradually been replaced by figures drawn from the commercial media, and aged, weathered surfaces make way for smooth expanses of paint. As the series has developed, both figures and landscapes become increasingly stylised, as if the artist is stripping out distractions in order to intensify what remains. Elements that have become familiar to Harris's work endure – the key characters, landscapes and crucifixions. Yet with precision brushwork and a steady gaze, the artist recasts his own history in a light that is unmistakably new; bright, over-saturated and of this moment.