Saturday, March 4, 2017

J. Brooks Joyner essay ...

VERTIGINOUS, 80"H X 96"W. 2009 © Harryn

VIEWS OF A SECRET No.5, 26"H X 30"W. 2009 © Harryn

Brooks Joyner on Paul Harryn …

When I experience the magnificent sunsets over the Wyoming landscape here in Casper, I am reminded instantly of the extraordinary paintings and visual expressions of Paul Harryn. His merging of art with nature and the essential ingredients of life is unique.

The brilliant solar colors on the surface of random wind-shaped clouds reflecting the migrant sun on the horizon combine with the churning blue waters of the Platte River, blowing sands, vagrant tumbleweed, and other natural phenomena mesmerize me, capture my consciousness, and transport me to a state of otherworldliness and spirituality – much the way Paul Harryn's paintings transfix and urge me to explore and discover my own subconsciousness.

About three years ago, when I met Paul Harryn at his studio and was introduced to his work for the first time, I was staggered by the subtle power and dynamic energy that his paintings express. I was immediately drawn to the conclusion that this man deserved an important solo exhibition at the newly reopened Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley. I believed that such an initiative would bring to the Art Museum an exhibition that would have appeal, impact, and importance for every visitor. It would create not simply walls with multiple abstract images but a space that would generate a physical, visual, and lasting emotional experience for everyone.

Based on my historical art research and obsession with Abstract Expressionism for many years – including an in-depth study of the legacy of Arshile Gorky, the Armenian-born American artist, and Jackson Pollock, the icon of American non-objective art – I felt that I had discovered another master descendant of abstraction in Paul Harryn, who had taken the ingredients and process of action painting to an entirely new and different level.

That remarkable level of imagination and discovery is brilliantly described in the catalog essay by my colleague and friend, Robert Metzger, who was also transformed by the amazing technique, vision, and experimentation that Paul Harryn's paintings embody and transmit to every beholder.

Through artistic expression, Paul Harryn's paintings capture the elements and process of change and evolution, whether these phenomena are atmospheric, cosmic, microscopic, or even psychic. His art is laced with the materials of nature and the dynamics of natural forces. His paintings reflect personal physical exercise as well as intellectual and emotional release, like a symphonic performance using special instruments and tonal punctuation.

I am honored and delighted to have been part of the initiative that has brought the great achievements of artist Paul Harryn to a broader public audience, and concurrently to recognize him personally for renewing our sense of joy and delight with natural phenomena and human creativity.

J. Brooks Joyner, Museum Director. Casper, Wyoming 2013
from Paul Harryn 'Essence of Nature' exhibition catalogue preface 2014

Paul Harryn & Brooks Joyner at Riegelsville Inn, 9.2013