In November 2015 Jonathan Cooper Park Walk Gallery will be holding its second solo show with Canadian painter Harry Steen. In these new works Harry continues to explore his fascination with the culture of Ancient Greece, transposing the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice to a series of elegant interiors and atmospheric landscapes, both real and imagined, from the antiquities-filled halls of Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC, to the ruined temples of Aulis, Greece. Suffused with a dramatic contrast of light and shade, and united by their underlying sense of the surreal, these paintings invite us to share the artist’s intriguing world.
Inspired by classical culture - Greek and Hellenic - Harry Steen’s paintings of elaborately decorated interiors and ornate garden scenes infuse realism with the beautiful and frightening, using symbolism from these classical cultures.
'I always want a picture to convey some thrill of atmosphere or association on a subconscious level. Very often there are sinister or tragic elements lurking behind the surface, which are crucial components of the kind of beauty I'm attempting to portray.'
As well as the influence of Balthus, Steen’s surfaces, colours, and pictorial language also point to the influence of early renaissance artists in Venice, in particular Titian, Giorgione and Bellini.