David R. Harper

In Paradise

May 24 - June 28, 2014


Chimera, 2014

vitreous china, opalescent glaze

14 x 23 x 12”

Harper's latest body of work, In Paradise, considers the liminal experience between ideal and dystopian notions by adorning the ordinary and tailoring the natural world through the use of traditional handcraft materials and 21st century manufacturing processes.

In his second solo exhibition at The Butcher's Daughter, Harper creates site-specific installations that explore dark and beautiful observations of morality in nature. In Paradise features vitreous china, ceramics, embroidery, glass, and cast sculptural works made of paper that derive impetus from traditions of taxonomy, memorials, and momento mori.  

The artist explains,

"Control of the uncontrollable, indexing our surroundings, imperfectly re-creating what was once un-touched: these eccentric fusions of nature and culture are what I feel are the uneasy disguises of pathos and pride that allow us to recognize and even celebrate an others' mortality while deferring our own."



David R. Harper (b. Toronto, Canada, 1984) is a Canadian artist currently based in the American Midwest. He received his BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax in 2006 and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Fiber and Material Studies in 2011.


Harper has been included in group shows in the US and Canada, most notably Oh, Canada (MASS MoCA), Builders; Canadian Biennial (National Gallery of Canada), and has participated in numerous solo exhibitions including Skin and Bone (Textile Museum of Canada), The Last to Win (Stride) and Atlas (Art Gallery of Acadia University). A solo exhibition of Harper's work titled Entre Le Chien et Le Loup was organized by the University of Toronto in 2013 in partnership with Kitchener-Waterloo Gallery (Ontario), The Kenderdine (Saskatchewan), Ottawa Art Gallery and St. Mary's University Gallery (Nova Scotia).


His work can be found in a number of notable collections including The National Gallery of Canada, the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation in Los Angeles, Scrap Metal in Toronto, and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.


In 2014, in addition to The Butcher's Daughter, Harper has an upcoming solo exhibition at the South Bend Museum of Art in Indiana and will be artist in residence at the Bemis Contemporary Art Center in Omaha, Nebraska. He is a 2014 nominee for the RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) Emerging Artist Award at the Gardiner Museum.

Opening Reception || May 24, 2014 6-8:00 PM

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