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Christopher E. Harrison | Contemporary Visions

Steffl Gallery | May 16–September 5, 2022

Image Credit: Christopher Harrison, "Exodus," acrylic, collaged paper on panel, 9"x12"

In 1941, painter Jacob Lawrence created Migration Series­­­—60 panels that chronicle the exodus of southern African Americans to the North. Each panel describes a story, some of opportunity and survival, some of abuse and death. Christopher Harrison recognizes these stories: “The scenarios Lawrence depicted are still just as relevant and potent today as the world deals with a massive immigration crisis. I felt the need to revisit these themes and for viewers to contemplate these ills with the potential to solve them.”

In Contemporary Visions, Harrison adapts Lawrence’s panels into collages with modern narratives, pulling his own distinctive style from the small-scale figurative works. Bright colors and simple shapes create visual interest that draws the viewer in to discover stories as they unfold. Harrison explains, “My collaged use of abstracted biomorphic and geometric shapes, objects, and graphics tell stories of the Black experience. The abstracted form, for me, is a metaphor for the Black body; its adaptability and resilience has been a defining aspect of our existence as a race throughout the history of civilization.”

Christopher Harrison is an award-winning Minnesota artist. He has exhibited in solo and group shows throughout the Midwest and abroad. Harrison is an arts educator with an MFA in painting from Art Academy University and BFA in advertising from Columbus College of Art and Design.

This exhibition is supported by the Depot Foundation.

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