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North Room: 

Peter Harkawik

Everything But

June 4 - July 10, 2015

Opening Reception: Thursday, June 4, 6-8 pm


Derek Eller Gallery is pleased to present Everything But, an exhibition of new work by Peter Harkawik in the North Gallery.


Harkawik creates objects with the problem solving acumen of a seasoned engineer. Adopting techniques from industrial design and strategies from corporate branding, his practice is not constrained by craft, but is defined by an unending chain of information. While each decision has been made through precise calculations, they have been unified not by a singular logic but rather a lyrically anecdotal structure that confronts our personal desires.


In 2011, Harkawik purchased a used camera, the memory card of which contained a lengthy series of high-resolution product images. The series illustrated a painstaking process of arranging and rearranging branded objects in an attempt to construct the ideal purchasing conditions. Out of empathy for the inherently creative nature of occupational labor and disenfranchised work, he began to appropriate these images into a series of paintings. “Cold Stuff” (on view in the gallery) is the final work of this series. Images of two subtly different, hypothetical beverage stations have been printed and mounted. The images, as well as the frames they are in have been laser cut with meandering but precise lines interrupting the image, and then hand painted, further obstructing the view. The effect is a surrealist doodle of the highest production value. An exercise in personal expression tucked within a calculated construction of dehumanized creative labor.


Confronted with the contemporary dilemma of the obsolescence of the body in the wake of new communication technologies, Harkawik sought to create a communication device that was like a body itself. Everything But is a large musical instrument composed of stainless steel objects connected in pairs by a tubed armature. Seemingly disparate, these objects (a water bottle, a glove, a human eardrum) are chosen for their relationship to the body and rendered with labored detail. The connecting armature is painted with trademarked colors (UPS brown, Pepto- Bismol pink, etc) which have been involved in patent disputes. These seductive colors only reinforce the connection between self and brand identity.


Peter Harkawik (b.1982) lives and works in Los Angels, CA. His work has been featured in recent exhibitions including Fondamenta, Barrett Gallery, Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA, Tisch Abelow/Peter Harkawik, Freddy, Baltimore, MD, Particular Pictures, Suzanne Geiss Co, New York, NY, Anthropocene, Canada, New York, NY, Panic Room, Knowmoregames, Brooklyn, NY, Made in Space, Gavin Brown's Enterprise and Venus Over Manhattan, New York, NY and Made in Space, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. He received his MFA in sculpture from Yale University of Art in 2011. This will be his first exhibition with the gallery.


Derek Eller Gallery is located at 615 West 27th Street, between 11th and 12th Avenues. Hours are Tuesday - Saturday, 11am - 6pm. For further information or visuals, please contact the gallery at 212.206.6411 or