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Charles Emerson – Lunar Poetics, Falling Angels and Meanderings

Harris Harvey Gallery

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EXHIBITION: March 2 – April 1, 2023
Artist Talk: Saturday, March 11, 2-4 PM
Artist's Reception: First Thursday, March 2, 6-8 PM

In Lunar Poetics, Falling Angels and Meanderings, Pacific Northwest artist Charles Emerson shares richly hued abstract paintings that describe ethereal and atmospheric spaces. Embracing color as the foundation of his work, Emerson builds his compositions by applying layers of subtly varied tones that shift with light and harmoniously transcend. His paintings contain terrestrial forms, celestial shapes, and painterly marks, each depicting emotive cosmos with every varying palette.

By probing into the metaphysical through psychic exercises, new forms and avenues of contemplation emerge for the accomplished 87-year-old oil painter. Regarding this new body of work the artist shares, “’Lunar Poetics’ are a basis for color studies. ‘Meanderings’ are delving into new structural and spatial ideas, while ‘Falling Angels’ depicts angels turning into rocks – by God. [According to Abrahamic religions] the angels took pity on Adam and Eve when they were expelled from the garden of Eden, thereby opposing God…[and resulting in their transformation to stone], a subject allowing me to keep developing my love of painting rocks and landscape in an abstract manner.” This inward direction adds another dimension to Emerson’s work, to further understand himself and his art in his late career, while continually exploring the unknown. Adeptly creating spatial ambiguity and shifting visual experiences through the artist’s masterful understanding of color and our mind’s perception of it, Emerson’s paintings have an evocative, mercurial quality befitting their metaphysical inspiration.

Charles Emerson, originally from Los Angeles, received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from University of Southern California. He studied at Boston University for a year, and then received his Master of Fine Arts from Yale University. He was the recipient of the Fulbright Grant, and he completed his fellowship in Venice, Italy in 1961. Emerson has shown nationally and internationally, including exhibitions in Venice, Italy and Los Angeles, CA. He was the artist-in residence at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art (Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego) in La Jolla, CA, and at Reed College in Portland, OR. Emerson has resided in the Northwest for more than 30 years. He teaches painting and a Josef Albers color experience class at Gage Academy of Art in Seattle, Washington, exploring how to see and understand the behavior of color. He has been represented by Harris Harvey Gallery since 2016.

Harris Harvey Gallery

1915 First Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101

Tues-Sat 11-6



Harris Harvey Gallery, the reincarnation of the 37-year old Lisa Harris Gallery, is a leading Seattle fine art gallery where new and experienced collectors go to find paintings, prints, photography, and sculpture of the highest quality. Conveniently located in the historic Pike Place Market district and West Edge neighborhood of Seattle, the gallery is within walking distance of the Seattle Art Museum and SAM Olympic Sculpture Park. Harris Harvey Gallery specializes in contemporary art by local, regional, and West Coast artists, many from the Seattle area. Drawing from its group of emerging, mid-career, and established artists, the gallery mounts rotating exhibitions and participates in the First Thursday Seattle Downtown Gallery Art Walk.

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