CIG HARVEY (*1973, UK/US)
Bildhalle is proud to announce a new addition to the gallery, the renowned British born artist Cig Harvey, who lives in Maine, USA. We will celebrate our new cooperation with a presentation at Photo London in May and a solo show in Zurich opening on August 31st.
“Photography is about obsessions and Cig Harvey’s twenty-five-year career spans a compulsive relationship with the camera, her compositions rife with lush, saturated intimacy that has transfixed viewers from her adopted home state of Maine to the art world nuclei, New York and Paris. Her work has always incited a jolt, eliciting a reflexive gasp of awe, triggered by memory or emotion. In this regard, her fourth monograph “Blue Violet” is no exception. In fact, the images in the book aren’t about flora. They are however, as she notes compactly, of flowers. They are about living and dying —And most stunningly, Blue Violet is about empathy and the vast potential of beauty — if only for a heartbeat or two — to bridge what seems more and more like irrevocable chasms.
Indeed, Western artists have embraced bright colors and floriography to create symbolism coded within their canvases for centuries. Harvey extends this storied, painterly tradition through her photography, refracting notions of mortality and rebirth. But Cig Harvey pushes the language of flowers well beyond the art historical. Growing roses is an act of courage, Harvey has said. And there are many ways to be brave.
Artists, of course, never produce work or exist in a vacuum; their output is always personal, and thus political. Yet Harvey presents a question we’ve neglected as we ponder art in this period of extreme distance and uncertainty: Could the mere presence of beauty, simply by existing, unite us? Standing before Harvey’s flowers, can we conjure a connection through it, to one other — however fleeting — across this cavernous, dark divide? For Harvey, these photographs are a way to reclaim ownership and agency.”