Hilary Harnischfeger is an Australian-born artist, known for her work that combines clay with plaster, paper and minerals to create sculptural work that is abstract in its materiality.
Hilary Harnischfeger was born in 1972 in Melbourne, Australia. Houston-raised Harnischfeger earned a BFA from the University of Houston, 2001, and an MFA from Columbia University, 2003, and in 2007 was awarded the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation Space program award.
Hilary Harnischfeger’s ceramic sculptures are heavily influenced by the landscape, appearing at times elemental and primitive as if they were mined or excavated from the earth itself. Harnischfeger’s sensibility is emphasized in her sculptures, in which the plaster appears slapdash, cast into gawky, slumpy, engaging poses. A closer look at their surface, however – at the interplay between rough and smooth, at the sometimes faded, sometimes vibrant color spectrum, at the nooks and bumps formed by layers of inked paper and embedded and picked away pieces – reveals the artist’s interest in the tension between control and release. For Harnischfeger, happenstance will forever be curbed by intention, while intention will forever be foiled by material eccentricity.
Harnischfeger’s abstractions on paper are equal parts drawings, paintings, and bas-reliefs. Hovering between the beautiful and the homely, the formal and the corporeal, the mythical and the awkward, Harnischfeger’s pieces evoke mysterious, silent fossils, dug up and reanimated via the artist’s hand.
Made of layers of paper dipped in water and ink, chunks of plaster, glass and crystal shards and pieces of rock and quartz, Harnischfeger’s wall works bristle with the taut energy borne of multiple materials situated over and against each other – built up, carved into and painted over. Drawing on varied influences, from Byzantine icons and Japanese Kenzan earthenware to Arthur Dove’s abstracted landscapes to Morandi’s still lives, Harnischfeger’s wall pieces are considered but also physically immediate. They bear the marks of their maker’s careful process, while acquiring an anthropomorphic, sensual force all their own.
Hilary Harnischfeger had her first New York solo show at Never Work gallery in 2008. She has participated in several group shows, among them shows at Elizabeth Dee gallery, New York, Southfirst Gallery, Brooklyn, Ballroom Marfa, Texas, Artists Space, New York, and Grimm Fine Art, Amsterdam.
Harnischfeger currently resides in Granville, Ohio and Brooklyn, New York.
|2014||East Coast Crush||Halsey McKay, East Hampton, NY||Solo|
|2014||Commito and Harnischfeger||Native Cleveland Annex, Cleveland, OH||Solo|
|2014||Ghost Current||V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark||Group|
|2014||East Side to the West Side||FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY||Group|
|2014||Commito and Harnischfeger||Native Cleveland Annex, Cleveland, OH||Group|
|2013||Visiting Artist Series||American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Washington, DC||Solo|
|2013||Paint Off, Paint On||Halsey McKay, East Hampton, NY||Group|
|2013||Realization is Better than Anticipation||MOCA Cleveland, OH,||Group|
|2013||DOWNTOWN: A View of New York's Lower East Side||James Cohan Gallery, Shanghai, China||Group|
|2013||nvitational Exhibition of Visual Arts||American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY||Group|
|2012||Hilary Harnischfeger and Tommy White||Front Gallery, Houston, TX||Solo|
|2012||Stretching Painting||Galerie Lelong, New York, NY||Group|
|2011||Hilary Harnischfeger||Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York, NY||Solo|
|2011||Papertails||80 WSE, New York, NY||Group|
|2011||Monkey Wrench||Horton Gallery, New York, NY||Group|
|2010||Guatavita||Eleven Rivington, New York, NY||Group|
|2010||Seedlings||Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, TX||Group|
|2009||Hilary Harnischfeger||Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York, NY||Solo|
|2009||Abstract, Abstract||Foxy Production, New York, NY||Group|
|2009||This is… Your… This… is My…||University of Texas at San Antonio, Satellite Space||Group|
|2009||Structured Simplicity||Dumbo Arts Center (DAC), Brooklyn, NY||Group|
|2009||Hi, Low and In Between||Grimm Fine Art, Amsterdam, Netherlands||Group|
|2008||Hilary Harnischfeger||Neverwork, New York, NY||Solo|
|2008||The Split Wall||South First Gallery, Williamsburg, NY||Solo|
|2008||The Grey House That Thinks Itself into Your Head Without Asking||Pace University, New York, NY||Group|
|2008||Jesuvian Process||Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York, NY||Group|
|2007||The Line of Time||Harris Lieberman and Wallspace Gallery, New York, NY||Group|
|2005||You Are Here||Ballroom, Marfa, TX||Group|
|2005||Hunch & Flail||Artists Space, New York, NY||Group|
|2004||Mommy, I’m Not A Monster||Capsule Gallery, New York, NY||Group|
|2004||Summery, Summary||Brooklyn, NY||Group|
|2003||MFA Thesis Show||Columbia University, New York, NY||Group|
|2003||Pertaining to Painting||Austin Museum of Art, Austin, TX||Group|
|2002||Pertaining to Painting||Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX||Group|
|2002||First Year MFA Show||Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, NY, NY||Group|
|2001||Hilary Harnischfeger||Moody Gallery, Houston, TX||Solo|
|2001||Big as Texas||Diverse Works Art Space, Houston, TX||Group|
|2001||Dishman Competition||Lamar University, Beaumont, TX||Group|
|2000||The Big Show||Lawndale Art and Performance Center, Houston, TX||Group|