Harry Ally is from Bridgewater, New Jersey. He has an MFA degree in painting from the University of North Texas and a BFA from Texas Christian University. He has been a Professor of Art for over thirty years and is now retiring from Valdosta State University as an emeritus professor. His work has appeared in many national and solo exhibitions across the country. He has won numerous awards for his work and many of his pieces are included in private and corporate collections. He has been represented by a number of galleries over the years including the Pryor Gallery and the Bill Lowe Gallery in Atlanta, the Soren Christensen in New Orleans, the Stricoff in NYC, the Craighead Green Gallery in Dallas, among others. He currently maintains a private studio and serves as the Artist in Residence of the Lincoln Art House in Troy, Ohio.
Artist’s Statement 2012
My work follows in the long tradition of painting. For me painting is the primal impulse to mark. It’s a visual record of the mind, the body, and the human spirit. It’s about a need to both create and to destroy. Maybe it’s out of sheer frustration that I paint, maybe it’s out of a need to violate or to contradict, or possibly, it’s simply about the pure enjoyment of mark-making, either way, there is a strong feeling present and I feel compelled to react to this feeling.
The content in my work is often ambiguous and rooted in a surrealistic trust of intuition. The work is related to the gestalt, an incompleteness that suggests rather than illustrates. In some works an obvious image appears, other pieces are less obvious and are often layered with fragmented ideas, incomplete thoughts, and multiple meanings. Each painting usually begins without a preconceived image. They begin with a series of random mark-making. Marks, images, textures, and colors often appear, then are revised, altered, corrected, rejected, and at times even accepted. The works are based on an improvisational search for correctness with an emphasis on documenting the history of the painting. They are a response to the physicality of painting, a love of materials, an appreciation of process, and to the seduction of surface. The paintings allude to the beauty of decay, to violation, and to vulnerability. They are excavations, a palimpsest of surfaces layered with a variety of materials...dry pigments, acrylics, tar, fabrics, oils, bonding agents, along with different clays dug from the Georgia soil. From these materials figurative images are often unearthed. At other times paintings are often left devoid of specific visual references completely and rely solely on pure abstraction. They are surfaces that attempt to reveal a sense of time and a certain kind of depth, a depth that is both physical through build up and layering as well as emotional depth through destructive scarring. In the end the works are about a search, a search for truth and a search for correctness through the act of painting.