A conceptual artist in the tradition of Eva Hesse and Ree Morton who rejected the cool detachment of minimalism with art that was personal and that elevated affect above formalism.
— Lois Allan
Harriet Sanderson exhibits nationally, primarily in alternative spaces.
Her work includes:
- experimental and traditional prints
- works on paper
- print based and sculptural installations
- videotaped and photographic performance
In 2007 Sanderson won the prestigious Wynn Newhouse Award. Born in Lebanon, Indiana, she has been a Seattle resident since 1985.
"A conceptual artist in the tradition of Eva Hesse and Ree Morton."
"Fills a critical gap in the national discussion on disability."
"An everyday object of age and infirmity given unexpected aesthetic whimsy."
"Dazzling works of art."
"Deceptively simple but highly poetic."
"Ambiguities of presence and absence, anticipation and loss…"
"Wraps printmaking, performance, body art and photodocumentary convincingly together."
"Explores the dysfunction of the chairs, they work with their canes to stand and walk and finally dance."
"She is a conceptual artist in the tradition of Eva Hesse and Ree Morton who rejected the cool detachment of minimalism with art that was personal and that elevated affect above formalism. For Sanderson, as for them, art and life come together. Employing non-art materials, non-traditional printmaking methods, and unusual presentations, she confronts life's difficulties, ironies, and absurdities, particularly in their relationship to physical limitations imposed by less-than-perfect bodies.
Although much contemporary body-related art is overtly political, Sanderson's is not. Instead, it is emotive, focusing on an issue not often explored in art: the body in its capacity to shape one's life, both physically and psychologically. Concerns about self-image, intimate relationships, physical functioning, and social biases are all related in varying degrees to one's sex, race, age, appearance, and health."
"Harriet Sanderson has been producing a body of work that could eventually change the paradigm for art that is ruefully identified with objects of the handicapped. Finding her art to be more poetic than pedantic, I translate it from the objects used to the language represented. It speaks eloquently of the pain and pathos as well as the playfulness of her processes (seen, perhaps, most clearly in her videotapes).
Her employment of the readymade objects as well as narrative drawings, prints and photographs disclose multiple layers of technical abilities all of which are a pleasure to behold. She is asking us to look beyond the materials to understand their conceptual nature which, in a sense, is not unlike asking us to look beyond the handicap to the person. The materials are removed from the usual and challenged to become the art, making them quite beautiful.
We should give Sanderson's work the time it deserves and we soon see not only the message but also the importance of the redefinition... hence the new paradigm."