OCTOBER 10—NOVEMBER 1, 2014
Adams and Ollman is pleased to present an exhibition with Melvin Edward Nelson and Charles Harlan. On view will be a selection of Nelson’s small-scale paintings that have never before been exhibited, alongside new sculptural works by Harlan.
Melvin Edward Nelson (1908—1992), born in Michigan, left his home and family for Portland, Oregon and in 1948, settled in Colton, Oregon where he farmed, conducted experiments and worked on inventions. From approximately 1961—1966, Nelson recorded the earth’s magnetic fields as well as his astral travels in a series of small-scale paintings made on his remote farm. On view will be a selection of paintings that the artist called "photo genetics," made with rocks and soil that had been altered by UFO landings.
Collecting special rocks and minerals, as well as soil from locations on his rural property where he believed UFOs had visited, Nelson would grind these raw materials into pigments using a hand-cranked gold crusher. With these pigments and paper in hand, Nelson would roam his land and watch as they reacted to locations that emitted strong magnetic forces and energies of the universe. The resulting images made visible imaginary landscapes that reflected the incredible vastness of time and space.
Much like Nelson transforms ordinary rocks to reveal the possibility of alien life and the supernatural, Charles Harlan’s elegant and succinct sculptures, made from common industrial materials speculate on other purposes or possible identities. Recast or re-contextualized, common building materials which have clear and known purposes are isolated and removed from their architectural utility and instead function in the same manner that a monument might, as a device for contemplation.
Charles Harlan is a Brooklyn-based sculptor who works with steel, stone, and industrial materials to isolate archetypal forms within the constructions that surround us. He was born in Smyrna, Georgia in 1984 and graduated with a B.S. from New York University in 2006. Recent exhibitions include Max Wigram Gallery in London, David Zwirner, Venus Over Manhattan, Karma, Martos Gallery, JTT, Maccarone, and Cleopatra’s, all in New York.