Here at Fabulous Frames & Art, we are major fans of Charley Harper and love both connecting with fans and introducing customers to his Minimal Realism. Today, we’d like to share some of his unique depictions of fish which, rendered in his precise, geometric style, are both graceful and whimsical.
Here are several of Charley’s early fish prints for Ford Times Magazine:
Sunfish and Anhinga, both pictured above, were actually based on a very early commissioned painting done by Charley for a Cincinnati architecture firm, which shows the same type of fish along with a diagram of a water treatment plant. Click here to learn more about this painting:
Charley Harper was born in Frenchton, West Virginia and studied at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where he met his wife Edie. During his long and distinguished career, he illustrated numerous books, including The Golden Book of Biology, magazines such as Ford Times, as well as many prints, posters, murals, and other works. His work focused on the natural environment, and Harper often created works for nature-based organizations, among them the National Park Service; Cincinnati Zoo; Cincinnati Nature Center; Hamilton County, Ohio Park District; and Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania.
Harper was best known for his highly stylized wildlife prints, posters and book illustrations. He called his style “minimal realism,” capturing the essence of his subjects with the fewest possible visual elements. Using graphic shapes and bold colors, Harper distilled and simplified complex elements. His nature-oriented artwork is often contrasted with the realism of John James Audubon and the simplicity found in Inuit Art.
Cincinnati-based Fabulous Frames & Art is a family-owned business and the world’s largest dealer in the work of Charley Harper, including his books, serigraphs, lithographs, giclee prints, and posters. We are proud to also carry work by Charley’s wife Edie Harper, their son Brett Harper, and other artists including John Ruthven, G. Harvey, John Stobart, Mort Kunstler, Michael Blaser, and Charles Frace, among many others.