Water has been a recurring presence in the work of Charles Harlan (b. 1984, Smyrna, GA), whose meditative sculptures surface various materials and human histories. His readymade objects of choice, which are brought together with minimal alteration, are drawn from industrial, agricultural, and domestic aspects of our built environment. In their original non-art contexts, they have functional use value as components of machinery, manual labor, trade, craftsmanship, or conveyance. Through juxtaposition and assembly, they summon symbolic connotations from which surprising conversations about meaning making start to emerge. Challenging some of our most basic assumptions about what sculpture can and should be, Harlan’s artworks offer an open field for our own cultural narratives and play of associations.
The exhibition is organized by Eric Crosby, Henry J. Heinz II Director, Carnegie Museum of Art, and Vice President, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.