Christopher Hartshorne: Crash Blossom

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April saw the opening of Christopher Hartshorne‘s latest solo exhibition Crash Blossom. The exhibition which is named for a term meaning a journalistic headline that conveys vague or multiple meanings, took place at a member-run gallery in Philadelphia, and featured a host of his signature large scale, abstract relief prints. The bold shift from his previous work (which we’ve written about here) is the introduction of color, which Hartshorne approaches with a disconcerting lack of caution. The prints are intensely beautiful but also optically intense. In an moment where sophisticated color relationships are a readily available commodity to purposely push color relationships into a corner where they starts to become dangerous is a bold decision that caused visible moments of pause followed by delight as people entered the exhibit on opening night.

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The exhibit also featured a body of shaped printed things, which are quite awesome.

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The introduction of color adds a myriad of new levels of possibility to Hartshorne’s work.

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The visible signatures of process in Hartshorne’s work speak of an complicated relationship between careful planning and intuitive response. Seeing the results of that relationship in my minds-eye, I imagine it playing out as a teen date movie, with the hunky-but-nerdy and reserved, Careful Planning, throwing care into the wind in a desperate, harebrained romantic scheme to capture the heart of the carefree and popular, Intuitive Response; after much anxiety producing hijinks and several false starts the film climaxes in a wild, end of innocence dance party, with shallow depth of field shots of a dancing crowd, slow-motion sparklers sparkling, and an epiphany inducing sound track; the scene cuts to blackness, and then like a sunrise the camera slowly comes into focus on these prints.
..or maybe I’m just reading too much into it.

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We look forward to more compelling work from this thoughtful maker.

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Categories: Artists, Exhibitions


3 Responses to “Christopher Hartshorne: Crash Blossom”

  1. Ron Rumford says:

    Well put, Amze. Beautiful, strong prints, congrats to Christopher.

  2. Regretfully, didn’t get to see this show, but really like Amze’s description!

  3. mary harris says:

    Color and abstract fo are amazing. I am a print 1 student,Inplan to learn new printmaking techniques this year,enjoy your prints.