I was born in Chicago and hold a BFA, Painting, from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago and another BFA, Graphic design, from The University of Illinois. I received my MFA degree from Georgia Southern University, and I spent one year working on a Ph.D. in Studio Art at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. I received a generous fellowship to pursue my PhD art research at The Julia and David White art residency in Costa Rica. I have lobed and studied art in Venice, Italy and Salzburg, Austria and have escorted 11 college trips abroad. I am an Abstract Expressionist painter. I work on un-stretched and unprepared canvas, on the floor or wall. My works are informed by books; stories about women who have suffered trauma and their road to recovery. I was awarded a commission to complete 5 murals for the city of San Marcos, 60’ long and 20’ tall. The University of Central Oklahoma chose 5 of my artworks to use for their costumes for the play, Trojan Women 2. July, 2022 I was awarded first prize/ a stipend and my art published on the invite cards in the juried Abstract Art exhibit at Mark Arts, Wichita. Lastly, I have been teaching studio art and art history courses for thirty years at colleges all throughout the United States; Austin area, Kansas area, Northern Indiana and I taught art courses at Northern Marianas College on the island of Saipan before Covid hit (now online) and at Butler College. I am married for 40 years and have 4 sons.
My work is a visual collection of emotion. All art surfaces are rich in color and texture, coming from my emotional, intellectual, and spiritual states of being. My work is free from the boundaries of traditional picture-making; thus, it is easier to explore my own psyche. Abreaction, a Greek term, first used by ancient Greek dramatists to describe the purging or cathartic effect that the release of emotion gives one, is an important part of my process. The unleashed, splattering of gestural paint strokes on fabric with a handsewn border and backing a part of the release of angst as in Abstract Expressionism, are evident in my own work and combined with a textural layering of paint, and sometimes added materials of sand, string, discarded drawings, lead to expressive mark-making in meaningful contexts evident in this body of art. That the subconscious is at work, there is no doubt. These paintings were not made with only sheer logic in mind. Rathe, painting is a journey, a process for me, that is almost scared and where I strive to prepare my subconscious for painting in a ritual that may involve a more pensive/meditative state of being. All of these artworks were informed by literature about people who have suffered trauma and their journey to survival and more recently informed by stories from the island of Saipan where I was teaching and living prior to the Pandemic. These artworks strive to heal and evoke positive feelings in the viewer.
David E. Harmon was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He realized that he wanted to be a painter when he had seen the traveling Vincent Van Gogh exhibition at the City Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri. Harmon holds an MFA in painting from Penn State University and a BFA in painting from Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri. He has done doctoral coursework in visual studies at Texas Tech University. For over 30 years, David has shown his work in several International and National art exhibition venues including museums, galleries, and community art centers. Harmon has taught at several universities and colleges including the Howard Payne University, Central Texas College, the University of Arizona, The State University of New York, The University of Southern Mississippi, Indiana University, Ball State University, Bethel College-Indiana and The Savannah College of Art and Design. Harmon has curated numerous exhibitions at many of the schools of art he has taught at. He also taught drawing and painting at the Liverpool Institute of Higher Education as an exchange professor during the spring 1988 term from the State University of New York. He has also experienced 5 artist residencies which have allowed him time to both create and contemplate his work in natural environmental settings.
My recent paintings exemplify a process of wrapping or layering impasto acrylic paint on various oval and round formats. A tondo (plural “tondi” or “tondos”) is a Renaissance term for a circular work of art, deriving from the Italian word rotondo, “round.” Artists have created tondi since ancient Greek. The circular paintings in the center of painted vases of that period are known as tondi. The inside of the broad low winecup called a kylix also lent itself to circular compositions. The style was revived in in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, particularly in Italy with the tondo becoming an especially fashionable trend in 15th century Florence, with Botticelli painting many examples. Michelangelo employed the circular tondo for several compositions, both painted and sculpted, as did Raphael. A large palette knife allows me to layer thick impasto interweaving and overlapping swathes of paint. When you work on a circle or oval, corners disappear, revealing only edges. On a deeper level I see chance interactions of these color layers jostling amidst one another creating immediate effects of color stasis and kinesis. Marks disappear and reemerge within the speed blur illusion of the palette knife application of acrylic paint blobs applied directly onto the surface. I do not need a palette, as my painting ground is the palette where the expression is birthed. Each painting is an adventure in direct expression of color swathes composed in a swirling direction akin to a spiral or whirlpool found in celestial and terrestrial nature.
Follow David- www.davideharmonstudioartist.com
Opening reception Nov. 4th, 5-7pm. Images coming soon!