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The tangled art he weaves

Published: Thursday, April 21, 2011 1:15 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Submitted photo)
“Tangles,” a sculpture by Joshua Harker, will be on display at the Crystal Cork Wine Shoppe in Dixon.

DIXON – The twisted, tangled and mysterious sculptures and drawings of Chicago artist Joshua Harker will be on display at the Crystal Cork Art Quarterly’s upcoming exhibit.

The opening reception for “Tangles” will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. May 14 at The Crystal Cork Wine Shoppe, 219 W. First St.

The free show runs through Aug. 8.

According to a CCAQ news release:

Springing from the subconscious, the art of Joshua Harker is intense, provocative, and undeniably original. He quickly emerged as his own force in the art world, producing striking works of surrealism and lyrical abstractions that have garnered an international following.

“It’s a pleasure to showcase my latest creations in a city that truly embraces the spirit of creativity and the power of inspiration,” Harker said in the release. “I am excited to present my work in a way that will spark the imagination and interest of new viewers.”

Harker’s work builds upon “Automatism,” an art movement first pioneered by Andre Masson in the early 20th century and later expanded in the work of Joan Miró, Jean Arp, and Pablo Picasso. Bridging the creative subconscious to the physical world, he transforms his explorative automatic drawings into the third dimension. 

For the first time, forms of this organic complexity can be successfully developed and reproduced. Using state-of-the art tools, Harker employs a process involving industrial design and sculpture software and 3-D printing technology to render 3-D models. 

Then, for casting his bronze pieces, he uses the lost wax casting method combined with a specialized vacuum assist process.

By contrast, for his sintered sculptures, he uses a laser to fuse a nylon and glass powder mixture. Finally, the sculptures are hand-finished. Currently, the only resource with all the necessary capabilities to build his bronze sculptures is in Germany.

His innovative methods have earned him numerous guest lecture appearances, including the recent Chicago Humanities Festival, American Academy of Art in Chicago, and inclusion in the Best of America Sculpture Artists.

The Beverly Arts Center of Chicago recognized his work by awarding it Best 3-Dimensional in its 33rd annual competition.

Harker’s work has shown in Paris, Frankfurt, Chicago and selectively throughout the Midwest.

His work will be featured at Art Chicago April 29 through May 2, and he currently is featured at Chicago’s Packer Schopf Gallery and M Modern Gallery in Palm Springs, Calif.

He lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter. Go to www.joshuaharker.com for more information on Harker and his work.

The Crystal Cork Art Quarterly is a cooperative endeavor between the people at The Crystal Cork, Trein’s Jewelry, and Distinctive Gardens. Go to www.thecrystalcork.com for more information.

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