Over the course of the last twenty-five years, David Harrison has created a body of work unique in contemporary British art that is characterized by wit, a playful love of contradiction, and quiet erudition. Working in two and three dimensions, the artist's paintings, sculptures, and collages transform the natural and man-made worlds into mythical settings in which alarming, magical, and incongruous narratives unfold. Indeed, Harrison's works collectively give shape to an idiosyncratic mythology in which every aspect of the modern world plays its part. It is, however, for his representations and re-creations of the natural world that he has become best known: in his work nature is an endless source of wisdom and fecundity, although it is never quite one of safety, harmony, or consolation. His canvases transform his own biography and experiences into fiction, whilst interweaving references from the history of art, popular culture, architectural history, and the mythology of English landscape.
The book includes a foreword by broadcaster and architectural historian Lucinda Lambton, an interview with the artist conducted by his contemporary Peter Doig, and a study of his motifs and methods by curator Alistair Robinson.
Alistair Robinson is currently director of the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, previously having held curatorial positions at the Victoria & Albert Museum and the National Museum of Photography. He has written extensively about contemporary painting and British art. Lucinda Lambton is a renowned writer, photographer and broadcaster. She has written and taken the photographs for nine books, including Vanishing Victoriana and Temples of Convenience, the best selling history of the lavatory. She has also written and presented seventy eight films for the B.B.C. Peter Doig has had major solo exhibitions at Tate Britain (2008), touring to Musee d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris and Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt; Dallas Museum of Art (2005); Pinakothek Der Moderne, Munich (2004); Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht (2003); and, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (1998). A professor at Dusseldorf State Academy of Art since 2005, Doig was also nominated for the Turner Prize in 2004.