Yi Gallery exhibits biomorphic installations and drawings by Leah Harper

Art Daily, April 16, 2021

BROOKLYN, NY.- Yi Gallery is presenting Mitosis, a collection of biomorphic site-specific installations and drawings by Brooklyn-based artist Leah Harper. This new body of work will be on view from April 10-May 15 at 56 Bogart Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

The exhibition centers around a sculptural cluster of oblong glowing orbs constructed of resin-coated fabric and wire. It’s accompanied by miniature porcelain figures of similar forms that served as the show’s primary inspiration. The delicate “creatures”, as Harper calls them, dot twelve small shelves in arrested motion, mirrored by two-dimensional representations in gouache.

All are connected by a common theme of soft, rounded organic shapes that evoke the ephemeral and almost alien life of the sea. Harper’s sculptures mimic marine organisms and ecosystems, with forms grouped together in small reef-like colonies or traversing the built environment in migratory patterns. Her drawings transpose these structures onto a flat plane, focusing on geometric swathes of opaque color and clean, strong lines. This variety of media is typical of her work, stemming from a multidisciplinary background in art, architecture, and graphic design.

Harper is inspired primarily by the sea life and ecosystems of her hometown on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Comb jellies, snails, urchins, barnacles, and oysters inform her visual lexicon. By embedding these organic shapes into the built environment, Harper highlights the delicate balance between humans and nature. In this way, she often uses art to give physical form and presence to issues of climate change and rising seas. With projects recently featured in the Human Impacts Institute’s “Creative Climate Awards” and “FEMA: Fear Environmental Management Atrocities” in Philadelphia, Harper typically expresses this concept in a more literal way. In Mitosis, a more subtle messaging reminds us less of the dangers of our precarious climate future, and more of the joy and wonder evoked by how nature populates this world.

Located at 56 Bogart Street, Brooklyn, NY, Yi Gallery Project Room is a 200 square foot space dedicated to group and solo exhibitions showcasing a specific artist or theme. Project Room exhibitions take place every other month, highlighting curatorial experiments by interdisciplinary artists whose work encompasses a rich range of themes and media.

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