Since its establishment in 1984, the Charles Nodrum Gallery’s exhibition program embraces a diversity of media and styles - from painting, sculpture & works on paper to graphics and photography; from figurative, geometric, gestural, surrealist & social comment to installation & conceptually based work.
— Short Introduction by Kate Nodrum
This exhibition presents a selection of David’s early paintings, made after completing a Bachelor of Fine Art at RMIT in 1985. From his studio in Fitzroy, listening to the likes of Mozart and Mahler, he set out to make paintings that were intimate, and that conveyed feeling. Counter to the prevailing irony, and attitude of the emerging post-modernism, Harley was seeking sincerity; works that sat on the wall and held their own. He was looking at the work of Morandi, G. Tiepolo, Turner, Tuckson and Robert Hunter in the context of artists in Bruce Pollard’s stable at Pinacotheca where Harley exhibited these works through the 90s.
Painted intuitively, with thinned down acrylic paint – washed on like watercolour – these paintings are gently moving, with shapes and veils emerging and receding within a diffused atmosphere. The odd hard edge or darker colour strikes out at you, but is quickly smoothed away by another amorphous form. The handling of these works is at times so minimal and subtle that the surfaces virtually disappear before your eyes; you’re drawn into their space, you lose yourself within them.
Harley is currently completing a 10 metre mural commission for RMIT University’s new office premises in the QV Building in Melbourne’s CBD. We hope to share further details shortly.
The gallery invites any clients interested in commissioning the artist for specific projects to make contact to discuss further.
Kate Nodrum, 2020