seraphin gallery, philadelphia, art gallery, fine art, contemporary art, harry gordon
"I started my sculpture career with a very classical, figurative beginning, and although my materials and forms have changed a great deal over the years, it is still possible to find remnants of the figure in my work. Most of my large outdoor wood pieces from the 1980s stand on two points (legs) and incorporate a separate element on top (body or arms). My granite work, started in the 1990s, also tends toward figurative or post and lintel forms.
When I incorporate several elements together to construct a sculpture, I am looking at the way they relate to each other, and ultimately how they work together as a whole. A tilt here and a cut there can change the attitude of the piece and gives each one it’s own distinct personality. When I make a piece with just one element, I tend to do more carving and editing of the material to achieve the same effect.
My work and the ideas behind it are tied very closely with the material it is constructed of – I have chosen traditional, ancient mediums with which to express myself. I try not to manipulate my materials beyond their natural state, but imbue them with an expression of dignity and grandeur to release their spirit."
BORN 1960, FORT LEAVENWORTH, KS
Born in 1960 in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Harry Gordon received his Bachelor of Fine Art degree in sculpture from Syracuse University, New York in 1983. In 1987, he moved to New Jersey to earn his Master of Fine Art degree in sculpture from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, and has lived in the state since that time. Harry has a BFA in Sculpture from Syracuse University and a MFA in Sculpture from Rutgers University. From 1983 to 1998, he worked at Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture, Mercerville, NJ as Department Head of Sculpture Installations. He was Professor of Sculpture I, II, and 3D Design at Raritan Valley Community College, Branchburg, NJ from 1998 - 1999 and Professor of Metalwork and Foundry at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY in 1999. Gordon is also the owner of Harry Gordon Studios, a sculpture handling and moving entity. His own sculptures have been included in exhibitions internationally and are part of collections throughout the United States.
Courtesy of Grounds for Sculpture
Published on January 19, 2016
By Jennifer Passaretti
The Garment District Alliance today unveiled Mass Medium, a group of five, 25,000-pound sculptures carved from granite that will captivate New Yorkers and visitors alike with its tremendous stature on Broadway’s Garment District plazas this winter.
Created by highly respected sculptor, Harry H. Gordon, who resides and operates his studio in Lambertville, New Jersey, the neighborhood’s second winter art installation will occupy the pedestrian space on Broadway from 36th to 41st Streets in the Garment District through April.
“Mass Medium is a spectacular installation that amazes passersby with its enormous, impeccable stone structure, coupled with its ability to adapt to the Manhattan landscape,” said Barbara Blair Randall, president of the Garment District Alliance. “Harry Gordon’s sculptures truly embody the innovative and imaginative spirit of the Garment District, and we are thrilled to showcase his incredible work. I am confident these imposing figures will serve as the most popular art installation in New York City this winter.”
The five works, Sandalphon, Snaphance, Enki, Flying Canoe and Grasshopper, are intended to become part of the environment, invoke curiosity among passersby and present New Yorkers and visitors with a new, unique way to experience stone in Manhattan.
Harry begins designing his artwork by collecting large pieces of fine granite that were initially discarded by the stone industry. Through utilizing a crane in his studio, he assembles each fragment of stone into a sculpture that takes on anthropomorphic attitudes, gestures and stance, essentially relating to human life.
"I have always felt that my sculptures need to be installed and viewed by the public to be complete – it is as if they get their batteries charged with each person that sees them,” said sculptor Harry Gordon.
With an extensive background in public sculpture, Harry has served as the Department Head of Sculpture Installation at the Johnson Atelier, Assistant Curator at Clinton Hill Sculpture Park at Pratt Institute, and Curator at Sculpture Garden at Nexus Properties in Trenton, New Jersey. Additionally, Harry has participated in more than 60 exhibitions over the past 25 years.
Mass Medium is the latest in the ongoing Garment District Art on the Plazas series of public art installations, which has also included Avian Avatars, Sidewalk Catwalk, Tour de Fashion, Figurations, Broadway Green, The Sentinels, and, most recently, Seward Johnson in New York.
Garment District Art on the Plazas is made possible through Arterventions, part of the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program. The Garment District Alliance and DOT work closely to coordinate the exhibit and install the pieces, which enhance the public plazas and make them even more welcoming to New Yorkers and visitors alike.
“DOT Art values partners like the Garment District Alliance and their dedication to reimagining the street for the public,” said the New York City Department of Transportation’s Assistant Commissioner of Design + Art + Wayfinding Wendy Feuer. “The enormity of Harry Gordon’s sculptures adds new drama and scale to the plazas.”
The Garment District is home to thousands of people working in the "creative economy,” including fine and performing artists, designers, architects, photographers and more than a hundred theaters, galleries, performance spaces and studios.