auckland

Michael Harrison

Ivan Anthony Gallery

Michael Harrison’s painting ventures an unfashionable mode of generalization, in which archetypes risk dismissal as stereotypes, deep truths as clichés. This tension is given force by the unusually restricted focus of the artist’s investigation, which has confined itself for three decades to the medium of dilute acrylic, mostly on paper (one work here was on canvas). Of the pieces in this exhibition, “Sun Square Saturn,” all completed in 2009, two were started in the past few years, four others have been in the works since between 1996 and 1998, and three are dated starting 1989. One of the latter is particularly luminous in its investment and revisions, bearing a title that alludes to the divinatory practices that have evolved around the tarot: The Devil Reversed.

In this work, a female figure reaches to embrace a man, her head bent slightly toward his, her eyes closed in the face of his

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