Chris Austin: In a Silent Way to Open at Harman Projects




Chris Austin, Summer Nights and Carousel Lights, 2022, gouache on wood. Image courtesy of the gallery.

Harman Projects will open its doors to A Silent Way, a solo exhibition by Toronto-based artist Chris Austin. This will be the artist’s first solo presentation with the gallery.

Chris Austin paints surreal landscapes where marine life exists hovering above ground. These formerly sea dwelling animals, no longer relegated to the ocean, float freely through a new and unknown world filled with man-made infrastructure. Whether cautiously exploring on their own, or interacting peacefully with a mysterious raincoat clad child, the creatures appear to move silently and without resistance through their surroundings.

Chris Austin, Traffic Blitz, 2022, gouache on wood. Image courtesy of the gallery.

“I wanted to focus on the perceived silent serenity of marine life movement underwater, and introducing the same serenity in our everyday lives and environment…..I feel as if we are constantly surrounded by chaos and anxiety and that there is something to learn from our friends in the ocean.” … Chris Austin

Austin’s expert handling of light adds a familiarity to otherwise extraordinary scenes. The warm glow of neon on a New York City street as seen in Block (pictured above) or a hazy sunset on the beach immediately transport the viewer to these locations. While surreal in nature theses beautifully rendered scenes seem like all too real moments frozen in time.

Chris Austin, Block, 2022, gouache on wood. Image courtesy of the gallery.

Acting as a stand-in for the viewer, the child in the yellow raincoat acknowledges the seemingly impossible that is happening in their midst. They temporarily remove themself from the chaos in their real life and embrace possibility.

About the artist ~ Living and working in Ontario, Canada, artist Chris Austin, paints surreal landscapes placing wildlife into unnatural settings. His work focuses heavily on the environment, the changes it is going through, and our place in that narrative.

Chris Austin: In A Silent Way will be on view from November 5 through November 26, 2022 at Harman Projects, 210 Rivington Street, NYC.