Close Look: Charles Harlan at Atlanta Contemporary in Atlanta, GA

This is the first installment of Close Looka new weekly feature sharing images of a noteworthy exhibition currently on view in the South. Check back each Friday for a new installment highlighting a different exhibition.

 

Installation view of Charles Harlan’s solo exhibition “Language of the Birds” at Atlanta Contemporary. (All photos courtesy Atlanta Contemporary/Erin Jane Nelson.)
Installation view of Charles Harlan’s solo exhibition “Language of the Birds” at Atlanta Contemporary.

For “People of the Book” an act of obedience is of the utmost importance: to wash away or bury an old life of sin. Followers descend one staircase as a sign of admission, of fallibility; in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the believer is immersed in the cleansing water, they then ascend the other side clean, born again. With Birdbath (2018), Charles Harlan portrays two moments of transformational baptisms: the grand: represented by a brilliant blue fiberglass baptism pool, slanted toward the sky; and the traditional: handmade bird bath. Despite its size the synthetic pool feels manageably light, while the density of the stone birdbath acts as an anchor, grounding the would-be flight.

— From the exhibition text accompanying “Language of the Birds”

Charles Harlan, Birdbath, 2018.
Charles Harlan, Birdbath, 2018.
Charles Harlan, Birdbath, 2018.
Detail of Charles Harlan’s Birdbath (2018).
Detail of Charles Harlan’s Birdbath (2018).
Charles Harlan, Diving Board, 2017.
Charles Harlan, Diving Board, 2017.

Charles Harlan’s solo exhibition “Language of Birds” is on view at Atlanta Contemporary in Atlanta, GA, through December 16.

Charles Harlan was born in Smyrna, GA in 1984. He lives and works in New York. Select solo exhibitions include JTT, New York; Rudolph Janssen, Brussels; Carl Kostyál, London; Karma, New York; Pioneer Works, Brooklyn; Venus Over Manhattan, New York; and Cleopatra’s, Brooklyn. Select group exhibitions include Marlborough Gallery, New York; Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta; White Flag Projects, St Louis; Sikkema Jenkins & Co, New York; M Woods, Beijing; and Maccarone, New York.

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