Cincinnati, Ohio – Charley Harper: Works on Paper 1961-1970 is the second exhibition
for the Cincinnati-based gallery, Country Club. This exhibition features original
illustrations and paintings from classic books such as The Golden Book of Biology
(1961, Golden Press) and The Animal Kingdom (1968, Golden Press). Also included
in the exhibition will be original illustrations for Ford Times, Sohioan and various
other publications from that time period. Most of this work has never been seen
outside of Harper’s Studio.
Charley ng his unique, modernist
style to a wide range of publications. Harper’s work is beloved in his adopted
hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, though his influence has stretched across the
world. He is best known for his unique style combining straight and curved lines
and flat areas of carefully selected colors. Through his work for Ford Times
and the publication of Charles Harper’s Birds and Words (1974, Frame House Gallery)
together with his work for the U.S. National Park Service, Harper brought an
entirely new perspective to the chosen subject matter of birds and wildlife, a genre
dominated by naturalism and realism. Harper referred to his approach as “minimal
realism.” Recent publications and exhibitions have introduced Harper’s modernist
vision of nature to an entirely new generation of artists and critics. His work resonates
as fresh and contemporary as any painter’s of his generation.
A versatile artist fluent in many techniques, Charley Harper: Works on Paper 1961-1970,
adds another layer to Harper’s impressive career. The paintings and illustrations
Harper completed in the years surrounding his work for Golden Press demonstrate
a confident and entirely matured style highlighted by unusual, dynamic perspectives
and lines that are simultaneously precise, lyrical and expressive. Harper’s work is even
more remarkable given the fact that his sophisticated and decidedly minimalist approach
to his subjects was applied to children’s books and corporate promotional literature.
Harper’s exceptional skill and creativity elevated any book, advertisement or brochure
to a true work of art.