Washington D.C.

John Harne

Gallery K

Each of John Harne’s 25 small oil paintings in this show features his signature “Angry Little Man” figure. This gruff, cartoonlike character with stubble, arched eyebrows, clenched teeth, and a saw-tooth flattop hairdo looks like a cross between Bart Simpson and a Jim Nutt figure.

Harne introduced his protagonist almost a decade ago as a stand-in, one suspects, for himself—a contemporary man defiantly at odds with the world around him. Nearly overwhelmed in the face of society in Harne’s earlier works, this “Angry Little Man” recalled Peter Finch in the movie Network, railing, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

In these recent paintings, Harne troubles over traditional questions of good and evil, attempting to raise anew fundamental moral issues that seem to have lost all relevance today. Self-taught but hardly a naïf, Harne achieves this by recasting his “Angry Little

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 receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the April 1992 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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