A Survey of work by Harrison Storms
Drawings and paintings
August 26 - September 19, 2019
(Gallery closed September 2)
Wednesday, September 4, 5 - 8 p.m.
Gallery walk-through with Harrison Storms and art historian, Karen Whitney:
Tuesday, September 10 at 1 p.m.
Paintings in Harrison Storms’ Johns Canyon* series are not depictions of a particular body, a certain face or a known entity.
…rather they emerge from a process: the action of calling oneself into being. For
each of us, the sense of self is assembled from recollections of the past, reflections
of the fleeting present and projections into the future. Moment by moment we remember
ourselves, and sense the edges that separate us as illusions. - H. Storms
Underlying the rich surfaces in the Johns Canyon works, two opposing forces contend:
one is the chaos of change, the other is the certainty of the known. Through initially
inscribing horizontal and vertical lines into the surface of each piece, boundaries
are established that act as signifiers of classical human anatomy, literally embodying
a state of order. This architecture of anatomical proportion, repeatedly returned
to, conveys a subliminal image of the human body undergoing constant dissolution and
The artist transforms the image through a lengthy process of applying layer upon layer
of paint, sand and cement that he repeatedly wears down, thereby dissolving the predictable
physicality of the human form. Storms utilizes grinding tools, rasps and water, always
without conscious intention of creating a particular image. A union of opposites is
achieved through the process of pulverizing, abrading, scraping, and smoothing. The
burnished surface with embedded figure that emerges, beckons to be touched, explored
In addition to the Johns Canyon series, this retrospective exhibition contains darkly
whimsical drawings, anatomical sketches and portraits. In addition to enjoying a lengthy
career as an exhibiting artist, Harrison Storms taught life drawing at El Camino College
for more than thirty years, retiring in 2018 to continue artistic life in the studio.
*The title, Johns Canyon, refers to a nostalgic geographical location in Storms’ youth.
Harrison Storms; Body #003;
Acrylic & Limestone on Masonite;
102” x 82” x 3”
Harrison Storms; Beyond the Wall #11;
Charcoal on Paper; 48”x 36.5”
Harrison Storms; Johns Canyon 001;
Acrylic and Limestone on Masonite; 106” x 82” x 3”
Harrison Storms; Johns Canyon 056;
Acrylic and Limestone on Masonite; 64” x 50” x 3”