Harry Gould Harvey IV
The Confusion of Tongues!
Harry Gould Harvey IV unveils "The Confusion of Tongues!", his first solo show at Bureau. The Massachusetts-based artist has long borrowed imagery and inspiration from architectural motifs, especially those emblematic of specific historical epochs.The new body of work presented here—from drawings, to wall-based and free-standing sculptures, to an installation—is no exception. Aesthetic hallmarks of the Victorian Gothic style, which was popular in the United States at the turn of the century, are apparent throughout the exhibition.
In a statement accompanying the show, Harvey describes that, through the exploration of this sort of visual language, he aims to examine the impact of socioeconomic class divisions, as they manifested in this historical context. In particular, "The Confusion of Tongues!" considers the relationship between the built landscape, manual laborers, and wealthy industrialists—whose luxurious surroundings were realized only by way of others' physical hardships.
A sculptural wall-hanging, So I Hope Her Soul Has Gone to Rest and Away in Heaven She'll Go Oh Away Away in Heaven and Away from the Burning Mills (2021) [pictured], for instance, takes the form of a decrepit, wooden window pane; at the same time, the carefully rendered ornamentation it bears signals the piece's more sumptuous origins. Indeed, Harvey scavenged the frame from the remains of a Newport, Rhode Island, mansion that at some point was destroyed in a fire. Reimagined in a gallery setting, So I Hope... is at once tragic and elegant: a figment of a once-proud structure, yet no less a poignant monument to the hands that shaped it.
Harry Gould Harvey IV, So I Hope Her Soul Has Gone to Rest and Away in Heaven She’ll Go Oh Away Away in Heaven and Away from the Burning Mills, 2021. Charred architectural salvage from The Newport Mansions, cast white bronze, acrylic, casting wax, OSB, beeswax, 71 ¼ × 62 ½ × 4 ½ inches.