Harry Gould Harvey IV at PPOW Gallery
One of the most intriguing and mysterious exhibitions now is the work of Harry Gould Harvey IV at PPOW Gallery. Born in 1991 in Fall River Massachusetts, he combines a fantastical and dark medieval aesthetic with wood frames that hold a ghostly presence.
The wood in the frames is sourced by the artist from “downed trees, gilded age mansions, dilapidated factories, and gutted gothic churches,” often using tiny carved details from the original structure. That material somehow retains the weight and memories of those now-gone structures adding an intense depth to the drawings that they now hold.
The best drawings are the diptychs or paneled works that feel like two points in time, or the same moment in two parallel universes. In all however, there’s a sort-of phoenix feeling – as if something is being destroyed or created simultaneously. It’s temptingly wondrous and frightening at the same time. The secret of the exhibition is to press the black doorbell (a small black button on the back wall) to fill the room with sounds composed by the artist – an “ambient score blending music, voice recordings, bird songs, and street sounds.”
In conclusion: Summer may be “off season” for the contemporary art world, but this is the best July I’ve experienced in 18+ years of gallery visiting. There’s plenty of visual buzz and intellectual depth that rewards anyone up for an adventure on a weekday.