STEVE C. HARVEY | Small Vastnesses

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15.05.2019 - 22.06.2019

"Airport Scene", 2018, pencil on paper, 15 Χ 21 cm.

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Οn May 15th, 2019, AD Gallery will present the third solo show of Steven C. Harvey entitled Small Vastnesses.

In 2014, we presented the Vehicles series, which had been shown in 2012 in his solo show in MUDAM Luxembourg, and in 2013 in the show Visions: an Atmosphere of Change at Marta Herford Museum, Germany.

In these works Harvey presented detailed images of a dark, unsettling world dominated by machines, mutant and hybrid technology. The development of technology, the design of modern robotic machines, of planes and cars in the 70s promised a utopian future in which technology would create a modern wonderland populated by flying vehicles and all kinds of wonderful inventions to ease societal ills and cure inequalities. Yet, not only that future never materialized, but on the contrary, it ended up becoming a threat for the survival of nature, of mankind and humanity.

Harvey’s Vehicles series constitutes a social commentary based on Francisco de Goya’s motto “The dream of reason produces monsters”. As Clement Minighetti, Chief Curator of MUDAM Luxembourg, argues “Harvey’s extremely detailed drawings have a visionary force which is reminiscent of the Carceri (1745) by Giovanni Battista Piranesi and the Caprichos (1799) by Francisco de Goya...". ...".The artist combines his influences from Bruegel and Goya with biblical references from Western Christian art history, an art which served as an aesthetic camouflage to those who use religion to justify all kinds of questionable activities.

Most of his giant vehicles seem like contemporary arks that pick-up animals not to save them from the flood or extinction, but to lead them to an absurd abattoir. Human beings in his works seem to be either submissive slaves or diminished to a secondary role as opposed the magnificent vehicles’. His images build on the intensely detailed drawing narrative of the events that make up this world of “Babel”. The density of his writing is such that it takes time to observe the individual actions. Harvey progressively builds his images from the first, almost abstract, outline which determines the general lines of the composition, and then moves to the more detailed drawing of the “images in the image”. This show presents these individual images-actions that constitute autonomous works in their own right. In the show are included four drawings from the Sub-Contractor series. They relate this technologically driven absurd world to its monstrous effects on human life made of flesh and blood. Machines seem to win the battle over the degraded and ravaged human body.

Harvey’s works were presented in Vitamin D – New Perspectives in Drawing, Phaidon editions.

Exhibition duration: May 15 – July 22, 2018
image gallery