Fri 17 Feb 2023 to Sat 1 Apr 2023
Artist: Tomas Harker
The Sunday Painter presents Tomas Harker's solo exhibition Multiple Choice Fairytale Ending. An essay by Allan Gardner accompanies the exhibition.
'What if the fabric of reality were Cashmere? Or some kind of fine silk? Something that needs to be hand-washed with care, allowed to air dry outside of direct sunlight lest it should bleach and wear and fall to pieces, destabilising life as we know it forever. How do we feel living under the supposition that the fabric of reality is in fact very thin?
As an artist, Tomas Harker has built a practice of tugging at that fabric. In the metaphysical game of good cop-bad cop, Harker adopts the position of neither - he is the tacit observer, draped in reality’s rich fabric, combing over the surface and stretching it at the points it wears most thin, cataloguing frays and tears in an ever-evolving series of paintings stacked with metaphors, easter eggs and a duplicitous wit worthy of the cerebral paintings he creates.
Existing on the fringes of popular culture, this new series of paintings try to make sense of a cosmic order becoming increasingly disordered, a situation too nuanced to be summarised by buzz-phrases like Post Truth. These new works reflect the increasing murkiness and confusion of contemporary life whilst remaining mindful of the power structures for whom the propagation of uncertainty is a clear benefit. Increasingly present in Harker’s recent work is a visual language of distortion, placing images within compositional kettles from which they are able to interact with the rest of the painting, treating the canvas like a Physicists blackboard, unravelling complex pictorial equations across the surface in oil paint. They traverse the spiritual landscape of contemporary western existence whilst retaining room for a personal visual lexicon to establish itself, entering into dialogues around value and aesthetics pertinent as much to discussions around socio-economic classifications as much as painting.'
- Excerpt from accompanying essay by Allan Gardner, January 2023
Tomas Harker (b. 1990, Worksop UK) lives and works in London. Solo exhibitions include: I haven’t been Sleeping, Screw Gallery, Leeds, UK (2021); Third Nature, Copeland Gallery, London, UK (2021); A Sea in Suspense, Bo.lee Gallery, London, UK (2019). Recent group exhibitions include: The Artist is Present, Guts Gallery, London, UK (2022) Apotrope, Cob Gallery, London, UK (2022); Bloomberg New Contemporaries, South London Gallery, London, UK (2021); There’s something about Painting, Tatjana Pieters, Ghent, Belgium (2019); Cite, Bo.lee gallery, London, UK (2018); Syzygy, Leeds Arts University, Leeds, UK (2018). In 2018, Harker was awarded the Ingram Collection purchase prize.