Green Cuisine


2’6″ x 7′. Hand-tufted wool. Made in India.


A trip to the salad bar is the first course on the menu of Mother Nature’s Fast Food Chain, and the harmless herbivores must make it, grazing to fulfill their destiny—protein for the predators. Then it’s Mean Cuisine as the carnivores take over and the name of the game is Eat Without Being Eaten. Enter man, the ultimate consumer, the predator with a conscience, who pauses while pigging out to ponder his perplexity: Can a nature lover ever find true happiness at the top of the food chain?
-Charley Harper

Charley Harper had an alternative way of looking at nature. His serigraphs were large expanses of rich color, which gave the viewer a very different perspective on the animal kingdom. A conservationist, as well as an artist, Harper revealed the unique aspects of his wildlife subjects through highly stylized geometric reduction which he coined “minimal realism.” There was a rare and delightful playfulness in Harper’s artwork. There was also a graphic genius. Harper said, “When I look at a wildlife or nature subject, I don’t see feathers, fur, scapulars, or tail coverts—none of that. I see exciting shapes, color combinations, patterns, textures, fascinating behavior, and endless possibilities for making interesting pictures. I regard the picture as an ecosystem in which all the elements are interrelated, interdependent, perfectly balanced, without trimming or unutilized parts; and herein lies the lure of painting: in a world of chaos, the picture is one small rectangle in which the artist can create an ordered universe. Wildlife art has been dominated by realism, but I have chosen to do it differently because I think flat, hard-edged, and simple.” Charley Harper’s unique minimalist approach is unmistakable.