IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS THE SAATCHI GALLERY PRESENTED 15 OF THE 20 MOST VISITED MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS IN LONDON
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SELECTED WORKS BY Marcus Harvey

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Marcus Harvey
Study For Broken Lock

2000

oil, acrylic and fibreglass on canvas

198.2 x 198.2 cm
Created with paint and fibreglass impasto, Marcus Harvey’s Study for Broken Lock combines the idealised aesthetics of high art with gritty realism. The materiality of the painting’s textured surface draws the viewer further into the illicit scene, the desire to look heightened with the desire to touch. Using the mimetic qualities of his medium, Harvey chisels graffiti, and inlays ‘tiles’, and renders the loo bog-grimy; only the thin-stencilled lines give solidified form to his painterly composition. Flirting between abstraction and peepshow, Harvey resituates theviewer’s gaze as something voyeuristic and self-conscious.
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Marcus Harvey
Half way up

1993

oil on canvas

213 x 213cm
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Marcus Harvey
Proud of his wife

1994

oil and acrylic on canvas

198 x 198cm
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Marcus Harvey
Ma Ma

1995

oil and acrylic on canvas

230 x 230cm
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Marcus Harvey
Dudley, like what you see? Then call me.

1996

acrylic on canva

198 x 198cm
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Marcus Harvey
Go Go Go

1994

oil and acrylic on canvas

244 x 244cm
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Marcus Harvey
Myra

1995

acrylic on canvas

396 x 320cm
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Marcus Harvey
Doggy

1993/4

oil on canvas

213 x 213cm
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Marcus Harvey
Golden Showers

1993

acrylic on canvas

244 x 244 cm
Combining the unlikely styles of hard-edged graphics and painterly abstraction, Marcus Harvey’s Golden Showers draws from the aesthetic associations of expressionism and pop. Capturing the violent energy of De Kooning’s women, Harvey sets his canvas in the field of psychological self-consciousness, pervading the image with unrestrained emotion. Overlaid with a sexy stylised outline reminiscent of Patrick Caulfield, Harvey’s painting balances between idealised glamour and guttural instinct.
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Marcus Harvey
Julie From Hull

1994

oil and acrylic on canvas

244 x 244 cm
Taking his images sources from home-brew porn magazine Reader’s Wives, Marcus Harvey’s early canvases use paint as a means to explore the concept of excess. Replicating smutty urgency, Harvey’s Julie from Hull is bathed in frenzied gushy pink, a dirty allurement promising fleshy debauchery. Using a heavy black line over a thick expressionist ground, Harvey’s graphic form becomes both container and barrier of over-indulgence, the promise of gratification monumentalised and ever distant.
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Marcus Harvey
My Arse is Yours

1993

oil on canvas

213 x 213 cm
Through his paintings Marcus Harvey explores pornography as a phenomenon of frustration. Using the instantaneity of paint, Harvey builds his canvases up as raw explosions, his brushwork capturing the urgency and sheer physicality of sexual fixation. Tracing over his gestures with images taken from top-shelf zines, Harvey places his desire in the teasing world of pop, uniting detached graphic image and aggrandised emotion as a parody of media portrayal and Pavlovian response.
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Marcus Harvey
Readers Wife I

1993

oil on canvas

213 x 213 cm
Depicted with the stark outlines of graphic arts and instructional manuals, Marcus Harvey’s x-rated reproductions become neutral instigators of interpretive response. Empty and generic, they offer sex as a commodified banality onto which all manner of fantasy is projected. Placed over highly emotive backgrounds, Harvey activates these images with tragic-comic fervour. The crotch-shot in Reader’s Wife 1 conveys all the excitement and pathos of amateur porn: clumsy, naïve, and filthy to the core, Harvey’s painterly response both mimics and exceeds pornographic expectation.

ARTICLES

Marcus Harvey at Mary Boone by Chris Moylan

Those familiar with the work of Marcus Harvey primarily through his piece at the Sensation show will be in for a sensation of a different sort at Mary Boone Gallery. "Myra" (1995) employed children's handprints in an image of a child murderer. No portraits of serial killers here; the gallery is dominated by three large (61/2 x 16') still lives of dildos, vibrators, and the detritus of what is known in England as an "Ann's Summer Party." This, it was explained at the gallery, is like a Tupperware party, but not for Tupperware.
Who knew? So, amidst the sex toys one finds pizza crusts, glasses of wine, stacked plates, and full ashtrays. This holds for two of the paintings; a third offers an overhead view of a bureau, with two top drawers open to reveal what one assumes were purchases made. This painting offers a key to the formal and semantic arrangements of the paintings, revealing visual interest far more considerable than the initial shock value, such as it is.
One drawer is dominated by the warm tones and vertical shapes of the toys, the other by the cool rectangular shapes of folded clothes. The bureau top, seen from above, establishes a mediating art historical reference. The painting on the wall opposite is similarly divided roughly down the middle by two pillars of a black and a red sex toy-looking totemic with pleasure-delivering animals perched near the base of each. The division of the painting suggests a whimsical opposing of social spheres, with a good deal of messy spillage from one into the other: on one side the domestic references of stacked dirty dishes and party leavings in cool tones, on the other dirty (in another sense) sexual apparatuses in hot reds and pinks.

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Source: artcritical.com