Great Expectorations (and Precious Nuggets) poster

Great Expectorations (and Precious Nuggets)
January 13 - February 17, 2007

Poster by DH

Click here to visit the flickr page with Josh White's photos of the show

Click here to visit the High Energy Construct page about the show

HIGH ENERGY CONSTRUCTS presents Great Expectorations, an exhibition of paintings and sculptures by artist, writer, experimental musician, and LA Weekly art critic, Doug Harvey.

"For the artist’s first solo exhibition of the 3rd millennium, Harvey lets loose a variety of works that are simultaneously disturbing and therapeutic. Great Expectorations is a multi-faceted serial piece, that exemplifies and makes strange the boundaries between giving and receiving, ranging from traumatic to restorative in their quest to emit, emerge, expel, and expound.

The exhibition will reconfigure itself over the five week period, as pieces come and go each week, reflecting the artist’s continued interest in exploring patterns of emergence and expulsion. Taking the same kind and sized piece of paper, the element of eruption, and a lifetime of experience with the creative act, Harvey has made over 60 individual Expectorations – painting, drawing, collaging, erasing, oozing, and free associating, as if carrying out some sort of occasional, yet quietly consistent ritual in the studio, away from his writing desk. Historically drawing upon the visual and painterly influences of Jess, Oyvind Fahlstrom, Asger Jorn, Kenneth Patchen, Tadanori Yokoo, Peter Saul, Sigmar Polke, Martin Kippenberger, Harvey’s quasi-symbolic world of repetitive freedom also evokes a familiar discourse found in the work of contemporary Los Angeles artists such as Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw.

Overall, the works in this exhibition address such topics as human suffering and the arbitrary construction of identity, yet continuously shift in meaning, as the subject matter changes from paradox to process. A consistent element throughout Great Expectorations is Harvey’s existential nausea filtered through a visual sense of humor.

Great Expectorations is a reference to the act of art-making, as a consistent, yet erratic practice of expression. The artist’s intent, whether through the simplicity or complexity that comes out of repetition, is to show how multifarious the world can be. Harvey’s depictions arrive out of a spiritual, yet formal practice, and assemble forming a witty residue of meaning, which is, just another of the many kinds of Expectorations.

The Great Expectorations will be augmented by a group of related sculptures entitled “Precious Nuggets.” Because Harvey is interested in the musicality and organization of all artforms, the sculptural works provide a presence to the overall exhibition that creates a dialogue between flatness and dimensionality."

Michael Smoler, HEC press release

"The Great Expectorations series was created with the idea of operating within a particular set of parameters: a uniform size of paper (50 X 38 ins) and content defined by the eruption of one thing from another -- the creation of a binary system by the splitting off of one domain from another, or rather, from what had previously existed as an undifferentiated continuum – the minimal conditions by which an “event” can be said to have occurred. Curiously, this concept resulted in a great deal of poop and vomit imagery. The Precious Nuggets (including St. Sebastian Annie Edson Taylor Queen of the Night – also part of the St. Sebastian series) were conceived as the corollary effluvia of this process, their surfaces teeming with viral information. Most of the PN sculptures were built on the negative-space expandable foam packing material from boxes of veterinary supplies."