Well known Benicia artist Bill Harsh died Saturday October 27, 2012 at his east side home.
A retrospective of Harsh’s work titled Inside Out is scheduled to open at the Vessel Gallery in Oakland on Tuesday October 30 and will run through December 1, 2012.
Harsh was an art educator as well as an artist and helped develop the teaching program at Arts Benicia where he taught print making.
Bay Area art critic and writer DeWitt Cheng is releasing a book titled Inside Out: Paintings of William Harsh at a reception to be held at the gallery on November 10.
In an announcement about the upcoming exhibition Cheng had this to say about the work of Bill Harsh:
"William Harsh’s paintings, prints and drawings have been variously (but incompletely) described as Expressionist, Surrealist and Metaphysical. Steeped in art history and developed through almost forty years of art practice, these works, distinguished by virtuoso draftsmanship and paint-handling, combine not only modernist art styles that are usually considered incompatible, but, as well, traditionally different genres: landscape, still life, and even nature study and portrait (though of an eccentric kind). In the current aesthetic climate, which has been described as postmodern and even, according to one eminent critic, as “post-art,” Harsh’s oeuvre, with its roots in Picasso, Chirico, Beckmann and Guston, among others, makes a convincing case for the virtues of authenticity, beauty, humor and power; his art demands and rewards serious looking, and delivers the aesthetic goods without apologies or excuses."
Harsh earned a BFA and an MFA from Boston University, School of Fine Arts. Besides his classes at Arts Benicia, Harsh taught in the Walnut Creek Civic Arts Education Program.
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