Exploring the Harn Danielle Harrison

Medium of the art

Untitled work by Roberto Matta in 1956

Too often, 2-dimensional art forms are overlooked in favor of the more abstract or eye catching sculptures and other 3-D pieces, however this piece stood out to me for multiple reasons. Often times when we see abstract art, we dismiss it as seemingly worthless only to discover that it is worth millions. We often times don't feel the need to look too deeply into the story behind an abstract art piece and sometimes, we even dismiss 2-D art merely because it isn't as eye catching enough. Despite being abstract AND 2- dimensional, this untitled work stood out to me and I believe that it's due to what the piece was drawn with-- crayons. Crayons are seen as the lowest of the low, the absolute worst thing for an artist to use, the overly waxy, child version of an oil pastel. When we hear the words "colored crayon on paper" we would immediately think of a picture made by a child and yet this is how this beautiful drawing was described as (colored crayon and pastel on paper). I was extremely impressed with the elegance of the piece. At a first glance, the work looked like scribbles on paper-- much like the work of a child, but upon closer inspection, I could see the purposeful alternations between crayon and pastel to create one cohesive image as if trying to tell a story.

Untitled by John Chamberlain in 1973 Medium: aluminum foil, acrylic, lacquer and polyresin

Another Medium that stood out was this untitled sculpture by John Chamberlain which had me mesmerized purely due to it s shiny display which, for me, is what made this abstract sculpture stand out even more than any other. All the materials used are extremely reflective creating a maximum draw much like how crabs are attracted to shiny items on the ocean floor. Although the colors were dull, the sculpture appeared bright and vibrant until I mentally broke it down into its components: shiny paint and metal crushed in a ball. Even still, the appeal of the sculpture despite its simplicity was astounding.

Design of the art

The Asian Water Garden at the Harn

This outdoor exhibit is one of the most relaxing at the Harn and it allowed me to fully appreciate the garden. Photos and paintings of Asian water gardens can give viewers a small taste of what the garden can be but giving visitors the opportunity to physically walk through a garden with live plants and running water was beyond serene. No signs and labels are needed to tell us what is on display-- we are able to experience it to it's fullest extent in person.

Art and core Values

Swimming Gator by Hiram Williams in 1993

This mixed media artwork is one of the first to be seen upon arrival at the museum and is one that I love for its personal symbolism. As a first year student here at the University of Florida, I see myself in this painting-- or at least I hope to. My freshman year is rapidly coming to a close-- it's really hard to believe sometimes. Everything about this year has been hectic and unexpected and while that is exciting for my first year, I hope that as time goes on and I progress further in my academic career, I hope to be less of a flailing fish and more of a peacefully swimming gator. I want to grow into a strong woman as through my experiences at UF as a Gator. Yellow is not often a color associated with gators. It's a very peaceful, bright, and hopefully color which is why I feel this painting impacts me the way it does. It makes me happy to think that one day I will be as calm, put together, and strong as the gator swimming in the painting.

Art and the good life

Various exhibits from the Guerrilla Girls Exhibit (Medium: Print)

I simply couldn't choose one work from this exhibit that best exemplified a fight for the good life so I decided to include multiple. The entire exhibit is a public message expressing the frustration women and people of color feel when they are ignored or treated as lesser than the dominant white male-- especially in the art industry. These women use their art as a way to fight the discrimination they face daily in their industry. Although I'm not an artist, I do feel that in many ways the the accomplishments of minorities especially are downplayed or omitted from history and do not receive nearly the amount of recognition they deserve. Black history month just passed and it's always interesting for me to discover new African-American scientists and learn about their contributions to the world but at the same time it makes me sad that: 1) I'm only now hearing about them and 2) the only time people bring them up is for Black history month. For these reasons, I resonate with the Guerrilla Girls fight for equality. Experiencing this exhibit allowed me to see how much the oppression of a people group can impact the way we live our lives and how we determine if the life we are living is 'good'.

Created By
Danielle Harrison

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.