Jan Harrison’s thoroughly modern surrealism

Jan Harrison’s thoroughly modern surrealism
Interview/Article by Lynn Woods in the Kingston Times HudsonValley1

Article by Lynn Woods, about Jan Harrison's art, in the context of receiving the NYFA Inaugural Recharge Foundation Fellowship for New Surrealist Art.

Excerpts: "The pastel-and-ink paintings and porcelain-and-clay sculptures of Kingston-based artist Jan Harrison defy stylistic pigeonholes, but their otherworldliness and dreamlike logic relate to Surrealism, the 1920s Paris-based movement that celebrated the unconscious as the root of the creative impulse and exulted in the element of surprise.

Unlike the classic European-based style, which is characterized by jarring disjunctions and infused with a sense of alienation, Harrison’s work posits a world view in which animal and human natures are fused; the mystery that pervades her luminous, spectral primates, cats, birds and other creatures from her Animals in the Anthropocene and Corridor series stems from their sense of deep knowing and immersion in a primeval cosmos in which the wholeness of nature is restored.

This nature is not hostile, but rather a realm to be discovered, an intrinsic, if buried, part of the human psyche; the viewer identifies vulnerability, innocence, and grace in Harrison’s animals. ..... In its subtle patterning and brilliant, atmospheric color, her formal language bears affinities with non-Western traditions. The delicacy of line in her paintings and tiny scale of her recent sculptures heightens the sense of tender connection and tactile warmth."

BALANCE, by Jan Harrison, 2015, 22.5 x 30.25 inches; pastel, ink, colorpencil, charcoal on rag paper, from the series Animals in the Anthropocene.


Jan Harrison Receives Inaugural Recharge Foundation Fellowship for New Surrealist Art - NYFA 2019

Jan Harrison Receives Inaugural Recharge Foundation Fellowship for New Surrealist Art - NYFA 2019
The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has announced Jan Harrison as the first-ever recipient of its Recharge Foundation Fellowship for New Surrealist Art. The award is supported by funding granted to NYFA by the Gu Family of The Recharge Foundation, a private non-profit organization that aims to promote cross-cultural preservation and create dialogues around visual and jewelry art. Harrison, who lives in Kingston, NY, is a painter and sculptor whose work involves empathy with the animal nature and animal/human interface as it relates to the collective psyche. Since 1979, her art has been connected with the philosophy of deep ecology and is focused on the vulnerability of endangered species.

“We’re thrilled to recognize Jan Harrison with the inaugural Recharge Foundation Fellowship, and are thankful to the Gu Family for their support of individual artists,” said Michael L. Royce, Executive Director, NYFA. “Harrison’s work, while rooted in Surrealist tradition, speaks very much to the present as we navigate complex relationships with nature and our own human struggles to survive. We hope that this award acknowledges her outstanding work and furthers her explorations in the New Surrealist style.”

*Click on title link above to see and read full article.

Image: © Jan Harrison, "Balance"


Jan Harrison's installation extended through August 15, 2019

236 Main Street
Saugerties, NY

24/7 on ARTSY 

AESTIVUS: Summer Group Show featuring sculptors, painters and installation artists who live, work and are inspired by New York City and the Hudson Valley. Curated and presented by Cross Contemporary Art and 11 Jane Street.

The artists of AESTIVUS:
Richard Edelman, Jan Harrison, Jennifer Hicks, Heather Hutchison, Alex Kveton, Ian Laughlin, Adam Miller, Lowell Miller, Debra Priestly, Suzanne Rees, Christy Rupp, Christine Schiavo, Christopher Skura/Julie Knight, Kurt Steger, Frances Vye Wilson, Joseph Zito.


ISDay International Sculpture Exhibition - Saugerties, NY 2019

ISDay International Sculpture Exhibition - Saugerties, NY 2019
ISday SAUGERTIES, NY Exhibition
Opening Reception: Sat. Mar. 30, 2019, 5-8pm
236 Main Street
Saugerties, NY
exhibition March 31- May 18, 2019
EXTENDED thru May 18, 2019

Curated by Cross Contemporary Art and 11 Jane Street.

For more information about International Sculpture Day, visit:  http://www.sculpture.org/isday/

The sculptors participating in exhibition:
Colin Chase, Stuart Farmery, Robin Glassman, Jan Harrison, Heather Hutchison, Alex Kveton, Ian Laughlin, Iain Machell, Lowell Miller, Debra Priestly, David Provan, Christy Rupp, Judy Sigunick, Christopher Skura, Nadine Slowik, Kurt Steger, Joseph Zito.



July 14 - August 19, 2018

Matteawan Gallery
Beacon, NY 12508 
info@matteawan.com 845 440 7901 matteawan.com

Jan Harrison, Coda (from the series Animals in the Anthropocene), 2017, pastel, ink, colorpencil, charcoal, and oilstick on rag paper, 18 1⁄2 x 25 3⁄4 in. 

First exhibition: WHAT'S NEXT? followed by: "COMPOSED TO DECOMPOSE"

First exhibition: WHAT'S NEXT?  followed by: "COMPOSED TO DECOMPOSE"
WHAT’S NEXT? (first exhibition)
Curated by SUNY New Paltz Sculpture Department led by visiting lecturer, Michael Asbill. Inspired by Linda Weintraub’s book “What’s Next? Eco Materialism & Contemporary Art.”
68 Mountain Rest Rd. New Paltz, NY 12561
(845) 255-1559 • www.unisonarts.org • info@unisonarts.org

Click News Heading for Artists' Names

Image above: "Halcyon," Jan Harrison & Alan Baer, (Birdlike porcelain sculptures in free-floating nest in trees....photographed from below looking up.)

COMPOSED TO DECOMPOSE (second exhibition)
July 21, 2019 - July 21, 2020
Co-curators Michael Asbill and Linda Weintraub explain, “Forty-five artists have composed installations that are intentionally designed to decompose over the course of an entire year. They demonstrate that it is through decomposition that fertility is replenished, ecosystems are revitalized, and life is renewed.”  This frontier of contemporary culture is identified as Eco-Materialism. The concept is explored in a new book by Linda Weintraub entitled What’s Next: Eco-Materialism and Contemporary Art.

Jan Harrison & Alan Baer
"Halcyon Two"
Included in the exhibition, Composed to Decompose, at Unison, New Paltz, NY
"Halcyon Two" involves a mythical nest-world for endangered birds and bird-like creatures. It is made of tree limbs and branches found at Unison, and attached with steel mesh and cables. It is a refuge and a place of rebirth in the global world of the sixth extinction, the Anthropocene. The birds appear to be speaking or communicating. The first "Halcyon" was exhibited in "What's Next?" the experimental eco-materialism outdoor exhibition at Unison.

Life or Death, by Brainard Carey

Life or Death, by Brainard Carey
Feature article by Brainard Carey for Praxis Center for Aesthetics, Yale. The article is about extinction known as the Holocene extinction, and Jan Harrison's Series of pastel and ink paintings, Animals in the Anthropocene.

"The current political climate in the United States, in particular, does more than turn a blind eye to those who value capital over measures ensuring the welfare and survival of the planet that sustains all forms of life as we know it. "

Interview with Jan Harrison by Brainard Carey

Interview with Jan Harrison by Brainard Carey
Interview by Brainard Carey for the Museum of Non-Visible Art, Yale Interviews, Praxis Interview Magazine....The recording of the interview can be heard on this link, which includes a discussion of Jan Harrison's visual art as well as speaking and singing in Animal Tongues.

Jan Harrison is an American painter and sculptor whose work, which primarily features animal imagery, centers on the animal nature as it relates to human existence and the collective psyche. Since 1979 her art has been connected with the philosophy of deep ecology. She speaks and sings in Animal Tongues, which she performs in conjunction with her visual art.

HYGGE - Cross Contemporary Art

HYGGE - Cross Contemporary Art
HYGGE: Small Works Holiday Show
Opening Reception Sat. Dec 2, 2017, 5-8 pm
Cross Contemporary Art

"HYGGE" is a Danish term that is not found in English. HYGGE (pron. HOO-geh) describes a quality of conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being. As an untranslatable word, HYGGE is demonstrated by over 100 drawings, sculpture and paintings by the 50+ artists who have exhibited at Cross Contemporary Art. HYGGE is curated by Jen Dragon.

WHITE OUT - Cross Contemporary Art

WHITE OUT - Cross Contemporary Art
Winter Group Show
Opening Reception Fri. Jan 27th
Cross Contemporary Art
Curated by Jen Dragon and Alan Goolman.
Cross Contemporary Art is a gallery dedicated to showing mid-career and established artists who have a connection to New York City, Hudson Valley and Catskills region.

The Animal Nature and the Psyche - The Art of Jan Harrison

The Animal Nature and the Psyche - The Art of Jan Harrison
As part of our blog series dedicated to lost and endangered species in the lead-up to Remembrance Day for Lost Species, ONCA delves into the otherworldy work of New York-based artist Jan Harrison. The words are Jan’s own as she describes the work. Dive in, and drift a while through the more-than-human psyche…

ONCA’s mission is to cultivate environmental and social wellbeing through the arts. We aim in all our activity to inspire creativity and positive action in the face of environmental change, and to help galvanise the creation of a critical mass of work that responds to and explores these changes.

14 St George’s Place

01273 607101


Sara Lynn Henry, Curator
*Williamsburg Art and Historical Society, Brooklyn, NY,

September 21 through October 20, 2013.
Artists in the exhibition: Terri Amig, George Boorujy, Catherine Chalmers, Stella Chasteen, Sue Coe, Lee Deigaard, Mary Frank, Jan Harrison, Gillian Jagger, Nina Katchadourian, Isabella Kirkland, David Marell, Christy Rupp, Alan Siegel, Janice Tieken, Eva van Rijn, Jess Wallace. 
Catalogue, illustrated.  Cover image: Jan Harrison's painting, "Big Cat - Mountain Lion With Foliage Fur." 

Previously exhibited at Byrdcliffe Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, Woodstock, NY, February 22 through March 24, 2013.

Anima/Animus; the strange and beautiful world of Jan Harrison

Anima/Animus; the strange and beautiful world of Jan Harrison
Roll Magazine Article: Anima/Animus; the strange and beautiful world of Jan Harrison.

by Donatella de Rosa

Dear Mother Nature

Dear Mother Nature
DEAR MOTHER NATURE: Hudson Valley Artists 2012

Curated by Linda Weintraub
Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art
State University of New York at New Paltz
New Paltz, NY June 23 - November 4, 2012
Alice and Horace Chandler and North Galleries
"Big Cat - Mountain Lion with Foliage Fur"
©2011, Jan Harrison
pastel, charcoal and ink on rag paper
45 x 34.25 inches.
(Seven inch border of rag paper around image.)
Private Collection

Jan Harrison performed in Animal Tongues with animal sculpture heads, in front of her large pastel painting, "Big Cat - Mountain Lion with Foliage Fur," at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, on September 15, 2012.

Other Than Human

Other Than Human
OTHER THAN HUMAN, Kingston Museum of Contemporary Art, KMOCA, 103 Abeel Street, Kingston, NY 12401.

Three-person exhibition: Jan Harrison, Chris Harvey, Susan Siegel. June 2 - 30, 2012.

Exhibition of Jan Harrison's "Big Cat," "Corridor Series Primates," and "Tiny Cat" pastel paintings.....Jan will perform in "Animal Tongues" on opening night, June 2, 2012, 5 - 7 pm, performance at approximately 7 pm.

"In June KMOCA presents three artists with fascinations for creatures other than humans. Each artist in their own way explores how by blurring the dividing line with the "other than human," we might become something other than human ourselves." (excerpt: Press Release)


DIVINANIMALITY: Creaturely Theology

DIVINANIMALITY: Creaturely Theology
Jan Harrison's pastel paintings from The Corridor Series exhibited at Drew University in conjunction with the conference, DIVINANIMALITY, 2011, Craig Chapel. Drew University, Madison, NJ.

"[T]he ahuman…divinanimality…the excluded, foreclosed, disavowed, tamed, and sacrificed foundation of…the human order, law and justice."
—Jacques Derrida, The Animal That Therefore I Am
Jan Harrison's painting "Blue Cat #3" will be on the cover of the book, DIVINANIMALITY, Fordham Press, to be published in the fall, 2014.

PAJ: A JOURNAL OF PERFORMANCE AND ART - Article and Podcast Interview with Linda Weintraub.

PAJ: A JOURNAL OF PERFORMANCE AND ART - Article and Podcast Interview with Linda Weintraub.
Artist Jan Harrison speaks with writer and curator Linda Weintraub

Jan Harrison's work explores the connections between human and animal psyches and takes the form of painting, pastel, sculpture, and performance. Jan's essay in the January 2011 issue of PAJ: A JOURNAL OF PERFORMANCE AND ART , called "Singing in Animal Tongues: An Inner Journey", describes the origins and scope of Jan's work, including her ability to speak and sing in "Animal Tongues." In this podcast, Jan and Linda discuss Jan Harrison's art and the animal beings who help create it.