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.
The Perfect Tree
2’ x 3’. Natural coir with printed design. Made in India. Do not keep door mats in a wet place for a long period of time.
The forest is full of trees, but this guy knows that HIS tree can’t be too squat or too spindly or too sparse. Only a perfect tree will do for him, so he wanders through the woods, acre after acre, until he spies a fetching fir with just the right proportions. He knows that a perfect tree is the beginning of a perfect Christmas.