Atelier Gallery / Trieste, Italy
CRITICAL REVIEW FOR AMY HARPER- 04/15
When I saw the works of Amy Elizabeth Harper for the first time I immediatly thought of Albrecht Durer and the German master engravers of the early Renaissance, for its fine drama and it's exhibition "These are not Digital Prints", will confirm publicly my first impression: a capable artist, the fair, which has its great, talented, and very valuable technique to know to cross time and space, immediately attentive, in a symbiosis of old and new that many try but that she succeeds in a way that is so instinctual and intimate: in the digital age, the engraving technique brought back to life in her works; in her favorite subjects you feel the vibrations of the old masters and our contemporaneity, where the wrinkles of a face or the same hands, the symbol of the artists' contact with creation making, they become portraits of cosmogony, thin and rarefied, yet effective, vibrant and alive.
The immediacy of touch, joined the union of science and art come together in a fascinating magic that transcends the sport; various passages played by this young artist are carried out carefully, almost ritualistic in its formal siruousness. The cleaning of the design, combined with the strong dramatic charge of the design, are incremented by a logic that aims at perfection, distributed throughout geography tactile and visual dell'opere: a relentless, feverish creativity unites and determines its precious work, in a catharsis and release at the same time so spontaneous and vital combining the currently alive, artistic in the broadest sense, the final composition of reproduction on paper. We feel emanate a communication from these timeless works; so far in the origins and live so close, vibrant next to us.
I must say I was very impressed by the creations of Amy Harper. Her gestural and incisive way of giving characteristics of leadership to the figurative, faces, hands, and wrinkled geographies of the epidermis; thousands particularly expertly cast, as filtered in a particular goal, shiny and ruthless, aiming at perfection; and at the same time I felt these people as real as the present; I heard them fussing in their lives, seen them elevate as true portraits, having their own lives, germinate from the paper, making them forget their lathes and acids, engraved plates and techniqes passed down for centuries, becoming in all respects and for all parties in our view, our body, our life, our essence more profound.
In particular, this exhibition and embellished with six original works in oil on canvas of great emotional impact, extreme expressive figuration, and freedom, where the artist dips the gestural design through a different a medium, moving the index of comparison. Although essentially it is based on shades of gray, black in the hatch of whites playing skillfully with the weave of the canvas, which constitutes, in turn, a new color in its own right, so by going by the subject, a backdrop supports the subject creatively. A very valid example of how Amy Harper manages to go through various mediums and techniques while keeping the commitment to visionaries and a refined expression, even over large backgrounds.
For the full exhibition catalogue, including photos and interviews, please go to http://issuu.com/atelierhomegallerytrieste/docs/catalogue_amy_harper/11?e=16627104/13317868
Amsterdam Whitney Gallery / Chelsea, New York
CRITICAL REVIEW FOR AMY HARPER- 06/15
"Remember, a line cannot exist alone; it always brings a companion along. Do remember that one line does nothing; it is only in relation to another that it creates a volume," insisted Henri Matisse. American born artist ,
currently living in Belgium, Amy Elizabeth Harper demonstrates the voluminous effectiveness of lines upon lines in her etched prints, bringing her figurative subjects to life with a deft hand. Using the intaglio style of print making, Ms. Harper carefully cuts the image to be made into her matrix, using the ink wash to bring the image to life, creating wonderfully complex and delicate works with all the textures and softness of a real person. Imbued with vivacious energy; each figure and face as an intrinsic sense of motion within it which allows each piece to transcend its two-dimensional state.
Distinctly detailed, each stroke and line contributes to the overall feeling of each etching, breathing lifelike sensation into the ink. The eyes of each person drip with charismatic emotion, allowing the viewer to imagine them as real people and imbuing them with a certain level of interactivity. There is a strong desire to reach through the doorway of the etching to grab the hand across from you and this mimetic quality truly establishes Amy Elizabeth Harper's mastery over the medium. Elegant and lovingly crafted, each etching speaks to the human condition in gesture and in form, allowing us as viewers to place a history upon each different image.
"My subject matter and approach to intaglio methods are only evidence of my evolution personally and artistically. I experienced no sudden revelation or epiphany on a particular matter," says Ms. Harper about her work. It is in this artistic evolution that Amy Elizabeth Harper's truly unique talent can be observed. The potential energy contained in each line and seam explores the depth and distance between people, thoroughly exploring the tumultuous trek of existence through expression and gesture, inviting many different interpretations. There is a distinct transmutation taking place within each work, turning the ephemeral into the eternal.
Stunningly sophisticated and detailed, Amy Elizabeth Harper's intaglio etchings capture the innate complexities of the human condition, translating them into the visual realm. Celebrated in the US and Europe, Ms. Harper's works grace galleries and collections worldwide. Amsterdam Whitney is honored to shine the spotlight on this award-winning star!
La Voce di Romagna / Corrado Baldi / Art Critic
CRITICAL REVIEW FOR AMY HARPER / 02/15
While many of her Italian peers tune in front of a "reality" or "talent show", American Amy Elizabeth Harper- California artist, born in 1984- is alone in her studio, at the table working strictly with the blinds drawn. Because the night is the most prosperous moment to look into oneself and to practice the ancient art of intaglio.
And 'the dawn of the modern age' at the end of the year 1400, some European artists began using metal plates to make prints. The technique that Amy Harper uses is still one of the great masters of centuries past. After coating the metal plate, a particular kind of copper, with an acid resistant treatment, she begins to draw her image. The method is traditional but the sensitivity is very contemporary. Amy fled from California- "a place where human relationships are false- which reigns throughout the film industry, all which is fiction"- to come study intaglio in Italy at the age of seventeen, mostly attracted by its history.
Life has led her to be the little girl's face of Gerber Baby Food and a Playboy Bunny. A world far from idyllic, that of advertising and entertainment, described by Oriana Fallaci in "The Seven Sins of Hollywood," in 1958, up to Bret Easton Ellis, in "Less Than Zero", the cult book "MTV Generation". This could have ended very badly, like the tragic story of playmate Dorothy Stratten, told in the movie "Star 80". Instead, even before she finds love, Amy finds Italy and a way to exercise her ghosts. "Everything that happens in my life is constantly repeated in my mind - she explains - I find tranquility" stretching out "only in these images." Not famous, but has smoothed out a way for her to live, "but is someone says to you that they do not want to become famous, they are a fucking liar." Some say that she has quite a "dark" side, although she denies it.
The technique of intaglio and engraving have been practiced by great artists like Rembrandt and Goya, best known for their paintings, which allowed them to be known, and illustrators and visionaries like William Blake and Albrecht Durer. "But drawing is the most honest thing that an artist can do, you cannot lie like within painting," says Amy. "When I start working I have no idea where I will arrive that day. The day in the studio passes in a moment, and in the end I have found a part of myself." Her subjects are portraits (see photo above, "il Canzoniere") and anatomical details, but the point, as always, is the meaning behind it.
Meanwhile there has been contact with the materials, the smell of paper, pigments, the magic of the press. A real world that needs to be worked with passion and strength.
Amy is in love with Bologna, "a beautiful and vital city, unlike Venice- which is flooded by tourists" and the sea in the winter of Rimini- where she would like to one day exhibit. A girl like so many who chose to remain authentic. "The 99% of contemporary art is rubbish, because the whole world has forgotten the original meaning. The reason," says Amy who has repudiated the business and empty life of California "is to remind us of our great and powerful traditions and culture."