Jeffrey Harris

Work History

Religious and Allegorical Painting
Religious and Allegorical Painting (1973)
Two Figures
Two Figures (1989)
In the Dark
In the Dark (1988)
White Painting
White Painting (1988)
Nude 6
Nude 6 (2007/08)
A Poet
A Poet (1988)
Three Figures
Three Figures (1988)
Head with Earring
Head with Earring (2002-18)

Artist Information

Jeffrey Harris is a self-taught artist who has drawn extensively from modern art history and the influence of his peers. Preoccupied with people and their relations between each other and the world, Harris has revisited certain subjects throughout his practice: the crucifixion, family and social relationships, the self-portrait. Opposing emotions such as love and hate, joy and despair are juxtaposed as creative and combative elements. The humanistic focus and emotive and intellectual power of his works leave the viewer in no doubt about the mood or intention of the artist or the emotional significance of the event depicted. 

As well as a clear continuum in Harris’ subject matter and symbolic message, the style of his work has fluctuated between a robust expressionist style and obsessively detailed work. He acknowledges sources of inspiration openly and influences of German Expressionism and New Zealand painters Michael Smither and Rita Angus can be seen in his energy-filled brushwork, bold use of colour and line, and flattened perspectives.

Jeffrey Harris was born in Akaroa in 1949. He has exhibited extensively in New Zealand and Australia and at Carnegie International Pittsburgh (1982), Wooster Gallery New York (1985). He has been the recipient of numerous major awards, most recently the Wallace Award (2003) New Zealand’s major painting prize. He was the Frances Hodgkins Fellow in 1977. In 1978 his first Survey Show toured New Zealand public galleries. He is represented in public gallery collections throughout New Zealand and Australia. A second survey exhibition was curated by Justin Paton for the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and toured through 5 New Zealand public galleries 2004-2006.

Solo Exhibitions

Group Exhibitions