The work of local artist Richard Harrington is being showcased at the Lockhart Gallery on Main Street in the exhibit "The Artifact of Landscape," which features a collection of large-scale and small-scale oil paintings capturing scenery from Western New York to Yellowstone.
"In a culture that increasingly separates us from the natural world, my interest is in how we relate to it, how it lives in our minds and memories, and can provide a sense of belonging, of connection, of home," Harrington said in his artist's statement.
Harrington paints in an impressionistic style with visible brushstrokes that allow the individual applications of paint to show. He utilizes a unique and often surprising combination of hues, which, from a distance, blend into one another to create these stunningly realistic landscapes. The emphasis in his paintings lies less on details and more on capturing large forms and shapes with great attention to the contrast of light and shadow.
This painting style coincides with Harrington's discoveries about his relationship with nature, which he began to question while paddling the Genesee River from Pennsylvania to Lake Ontario, keeping a sketchbook along the way. As he explained in his artist's statement, he realized that, "We hold remnants of landscape in our minds as a way of navigating our world pre-map, compass, GPS." This gave way to his style: simple forms and shapes that our memory holds in order to orient us in our surroundings.
Harrington's work extends far beyond simply painting with oil on canvas. "Slough Creek Overlook, Lamar Valley, Yellowstone," for example, is accompanied by a curio cabinet filled with watercolor sketches, photographs, feathers and plaster casts of animal tracks. "This piece is representative of a new direction in my work, landscape on a scale large enough to have a presence in front of the viewer, combined with a cabinet full of artifacts of and from that landscape," he said in his online journal.
For more information:rcharrington.comfieldnotesfrom100horsestudio.comrichardharringtonsmallwork.com
"Paint Pot, Yellowstone" and "Lamar Valley Erratics, Yellowstone" are both composed as a single image across two panels. In the case of "Paint Pot," the main focus, a pool of brilliantly strange-colored water, is cut in half by the break between the panels. In the Lockhart Gallery, a window fills the space between, requiring the viewer to stand at a distance to see the continuation of the image.
In Harrington's words, his work seeks to capture "the tactile experience of being outside, even beyond the visual."
"The Artifact of Landscape"on display until March 12The Lockhart Gallery Monday - Thursday 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday - Saturday12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.