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Charles Harlan is a Virginia-based sculptor whose work utilizes predominantly found industrial objects. His work is informed by the aesthetics of his surrounding neighborhood at any given time. While some of the industrial materials sometimes comes from the artist’s background, they rarely read that way. Harlan’s work has often been referred to as Duchampian in its reliance upon readymade components, its deceptive simplicity, and it spatial humor. His stacking and layering of recognizable, utilitarian materials renders surprisingly potent forms, rooted in associations of folklore and cultural excavations. His sculptures speak not only to an individual experience but a collective one that has been practiced for thousands of years. 

His first exhibition at JTT Gallery in New York involved fitting a massive, one-ton metal tube in a relatively small exhibition space – a seemingly simplistic concept with inscrutable effects. Cave, 2012, pushes the ready-made to new extremes, challenging both the meaning of an object’s presence in a specific space, and the certainty of sensorial space itself. Roll gate, 2014, a 10-foot padlocked, roll-up gate, similarly relates scale and materiality to viewership by blocking a passage with a displaced object; but also revisits the story of the Ishtar Gate, the eighth passage to the ancient city of Bablyon. Harlan’s first exhibition at Kayne Griffin Corcoran included, amongst other sculptures, a jon boat installed outdoors and upright like a tombstone. Jon Boat, 2016, was inlaid with a single piece of hardwood, pierced by two holes that interact with the daylight like abstract sun dials on the lawn.

Charles Harlan lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He received his BA from New York University in 2006. Selected exhibitions include: Jon Boat, Kayne Griffin Corcoran, LA, CA; The Obelisk and Dome, Carl Kostyál, London, UK; Menhirs, Rodolhpe Janssen, Brussels, BE; All Means Are Sacred, M Woods, Beijing, CN; The 5th of July, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, GA; Flood, Pioneer Works, New York, NY; Hamlet’s Mill, Ribordy Contemporary, Geneva, CH; Ishtar, Venus Over Manhattan, New York, NY; do it (outside), Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY; The Gate, Karma, New York, NY; Doll House, Cleopatra’s, Brooklyn, NY.

Born in 1984 in Smyrna, GA. Lives and works in Newport, VA.

EDUCATION

2006                        
B.S., New York University, New York, NY

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2019
Mountain Lake, JTT, New York, NY

2018
Trees, Tif Sigfrids, Athens, GA 
Language of the Birds, Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, GA 

2017                         
Sail Boat, JTT, New York, NY
Jon Boat, Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles, CA

2016                         
The Obelisk and Dome, Carl Kostyál, London, UK
Menhirs, Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, BE
Flood, Pioneer Works, New York, NY (cat.)

2015                         
Hamlet's Mill, Ribordy Contemporary, Geneva, CH

2014                         
Ishtar, Venus Over Manhattan, New York, NY

2013                         
The Gate, Karma, New York, NY
Cave, JTT, New York, NY

2010                         
Basin, Charlie Horse, Brooklyn, NY

SELECT GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2019
Leavee, Parisian Laundry, Montreal, Canada
Material History, JDJ, Garrison, NY

2017
How It’s Made, Carl Kostyal Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden                         
Lightness, White Rainbow, London, UK 

2016                         
6s and 7s, Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY
All Means Are Sacred, M Woods, Beijing, CN 
The 5th of July, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, GA

2015                         
Object Painting — Painting Object, Jonathan Viner, London, UK
M Woods Collection Exhibition, M Woods, Beijing, CN
Earth Jerks, White Flag Projects, Saint Louis, MO
Over & Under, Sikkema Jenkins & Co, New York, NY
Judo, Clifton Benevento, New York, NY

2014                         
The Unwinding: Charles Harlan, Michael E. Smith, Virginia Overton, Lewis Baltz, Cookie Butcher, Antwerp, BE
Melvin Edward Nelson and Charles Harlan, Adams and Ollman, Portland, OR
Another, Once Again, Many Times More, Martos Gallery, East Marion, NY
To do as one would, David Zwirner, New York, NY
Ice Fishing, Max Wigram Gallery, London, UK
Home Again, Again II, The Journal Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2013                         
Garage Show, next door to JTT and Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York, NY
LAT. 41° 7' N., LONG. 72° 19' W, Martos Gallery, East Marion, NY
do it (outside), Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY
Aaron Aujla, John Pittman, Charles Harlan, Martos Gallery, New York, NY

2012                         
Peekskill Project, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY
EAF 12, Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY
Partially Buried, JTT, New York, NY
Harlan, Laracuente, Lichty / Earth, New Capital, Chicago, IL

2011                          
Tailgates and Substitutes, Thierry Goldberg, New York, NY
The Color of Company, Abrons Art Center, New York, NY
The Medicine Bag, Maccarone, New York, NY

2010                         
The Every Other Day, Ideo Box Gallery, Miami, FL
Short-Term Deviation, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York, NY
Bildungsroman, Allan Nederpelt, Brooklyn, NY

2009                        
Cleopatra’s Trade Secrets, John Connelly Presents, New York, NY
Forms of Melancholy, Sego Art Center, Provo, UT

2008                        
Doll House, Cleopatra’s, Brooklyn, NY

2007                        
Nightshift, White Box Gallery, New York, NY
Re-Surfacing, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

2005                        
Three Rooms with Art in Them, ATM Gallery, New York, NY

AWARDS

2012                         
Emerging Artists’ Fellowship, Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY