dallas

Susan Harrington

Peregrine Gallery

Dissolution is both a technique and a theme for Susan Harrington. She favors the diptych format, usually making one of the images a face seen close-up. Many of these she renders loosely, which leaves them blurred, fading into or out of our awareness. Harrington also employs cross-hatching to suggest the art historical sources of some of her figures, but at times she lets even that dissolve into an indistinct pattern. In When Pairs Conspire, 1989, tiny figures placed against the landscape seem on the verge of being swallowed up. Their small outlines appear as generalized silhouettes.

Film terms come naturally when describing Harrington’s work, and, as in film, she uses the dissolve to shift from one image to another. Her most unsettlng work frequently features subjects who appear to be caught at some midpoint in the process of fading in or out and are now hopelessly enmeshed. The resulting

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the November 1989 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.