Next Big Thing: Tommy Harrison
The English artist’s enthralling oil paintings capture everything from ambiguous landscapes and strange interiors
For his debut solo show in the U.S. earlier this year, at Grimm gallery in Tribeca, Tommy Harrison presented oil paintings capturing ambiguous landscapes and strange interiors.
“Conceptually, I’m interested in the making process itself and how the formal is intertwined with what is depicted,” says the Manchester, England, artist. “I never work from drawings or plans. Building structures and having them collapse is a natural part of this process. With time, traces remain, and by interacting with the remnants, I find that much more interesting compositions are achieved.”
Formative moment: A former landscape architect, Harrison credits an encounter with a Chaïm Soutine canvas at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam as the catalyst for his art. “It was there that I was exposed to exceptional art for the first time. That painting had a very strong impact on me.”
Unique process: “I work slowly, building the whole painting up through multiple layers. My favorite part of
this process is always the final day, in which I add the shadows. After having felt lost in the painting itself for several months, seeing everything brought together at this stage is very exciting.”
“Tommy explores the historic process of painting combined with modern-day methods to create moody landscapes and interiors that are extremely complex and layered”Georgina Cohen
A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2023 Winter Issue under the headline “Next Big Things.” Subscribe to the magazine.
Click here to see the full list of “Next Big Things.”