“...In 'The Eagle Has Landed,'; a lumpish abstract sculpture with little wheels is laid on its side and shrouded by a pillowcase printed with a picture of an American eagle’s head. When I saw it, I thought Iraq, death, long-gone John Ashcroft, Humpty Dumpty, sleep. I have no idea what Ms. Harrison might have been thinking, but it seems not to matter. All her work encourages such free association, demands it really, and subtly directs it.”
Holland Cotter [1]
“Looking at her work is like tapping into the collective unconscious and the news at the same time.”
Alpert Award nominator, private communication
“Harrison asks the big questions: What is art? But also, What would it be like to be Imelda Marcos? And what, after all, does sculpture look like in all of this?”
Jack Bankowsky [2]
“Minimalist sculpture is an anchor in Harrison’s world and her work, so too is Depp, or Liz...”
Jack Bankowsky [3]
“Harrison is interested in how complex, deeply troubling issues become boiled down and distilled into simple images, how they are framed and distributed. Her work portrays a deep, agitated distrust.”
Tom Eccles [4]
“...Ms. Harrison...is often called a sculptor, which is accurate. But she is also, and simultaneously, a painter, photographer, video maker, collagist and installation artist. She has the databank brain of a historian, the magpie instincts of a collector and a curator’s exacting eye. Her work is figurative and abstract, casually piled on and highly deliberated, zany and chilly.”
Holland Cotter [5]
What else might be in her “databank brain?” This, according to others:
“The range of her art-historical reference is wide: Donald Judd and David Smith, Helen Frankenthaler and Eva Hesse, Adrian Piper and Gordon Matta-Clark, Paul McCarthy, Cady Noland, Haim Steinbach, Mr. Smith and on and on.”
Holland Cotter [6]
The references proliferate:
Dan Graham, Rosemary Trockel, Marcel Broodthears, Rauschenberg, Louise Lawler, Haim Steinbach, Velázquez, Cosima Von Bonin, Hans Haacke, Stan Douglas, Mel Bochner, Warhol, Courbet, Marcel Duchamp...

[1] Holland Cotter, New York Times, July 3, 2009
[2] Jack Bankowsky, Monkey House Blessing Potpourri, in Banks, Eric, and Sarah Valdez, eds. Rachel Harrison: Museum With Walls, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale on Hudson; Whitechapel Gallery, London; and Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, 2010, p.147
[3] ibid
[4] Tom Eccles, Foreword in Rachel Harrison: Museum With Walls, ibid., p.12
[5] Holland Cotter, op. cit
[6] Cotter, ibid.


“I’ve become increasingly interested in abstraction. What does it mean when abstraction talks to something representational?

Fats Domino (detail), 105”x25”x22”, 2006. Installation view from “Consider The Lobster” Hessel Museum, Bard College

“For me if art is to have a lasting power it needs to operate on many layers in order to engage time as history unfolds. These layers are inclusive of the personal, the political, the psychological, the physical and the emotional. Ideally each sculpture can embody all of these things. If the references don’t add up for the viewer, something else can unfold."" RH

Indigenous Parts. Image of Reagan from Hans Haake’s work “Oelgemaelde, Hommage à Marcel Broodthaers”; 1995-2009