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John Wood and Paul Harrison: The First 30 Years Viewing Room





Monday, 15 June 2020 to Sunday, 23 August 2020

Cristin Tierney Gallery is pleased to present The First 30 Years, an online viewing room of videos, sculptures and more by John Wood and Paul Harrison. This retrospective presentation is the artists’ first solo project with the gallery, and features works from the early 1990s to the present. Visit to enter the viewing room.

The First 30 Years opens June 15th, continuing for ten weeks through August 23rd. Each week will focus on a different theme in the artists’ practice, and present works related to that category. Also premiering is a new documentary surveying Wood and Harrison's three decades of collaboration with behind-the-scenes videos and commentary; it will be available online throughout the duration of the viewing room.

The first week explores the theme Trust/distrust/mistrust, highlighting a selection of early videos: Board, 1993, Boat, 1995 and 3-Legged, 1997. In each piece the artists perform various physical actions, with the outcome (and their bodily safety) ultimately reliant on the two working together as a unit. Other weeks--listed below--explore subjects such as Minimalism, Office Work and Killing Time. The final week, Wordplay, focuses on Wood and Harrison's use of language to create or obstruct meaning, and includes text drawings as well as some of their most recent videos.

• Week 1: Trust/distrust/mistrust
• Week 2: Minimalism
• Week 3: Made to Measure
• Week 4: Cardboard boxes, chairs, ladders, and tennis balls are all beautiful
• Week 5: Office Work
• Week 6: Everyday life is like a film
• Week 7: Killing Time
• Week 8: This stuff is like that stuff but a bit different
• Week 9: Disappointing
• Week 10: Wordplay

Each Monday the gallery will reveal the next week's theme in the viewing room. Related Wood and Harrison videos and works will be visible for that week only, after which they will be taken offline. A solo exhibition with the artists is planned for 2021. It will be their first solo exhibition in New York.

John Wood (b.1969, Hong Kong) and Paul Harrison (b.1966, Wolverhampton) make single-channel videos, multi-screen video installations, prints, drawings, and sculptures that elegantly fuse advanced aesthetic research with existential comedy. The artists’ spare, to-the-point works feature the actions of their own bodies, a wide variety of static and moving props, or combinations of both to illustrate the triumphs and tribulations of making art and having a life. The videos maintain a strict internal logic, with the action directly related to the duration of the work. Inside this "logical world" action is allowed to happen for no apparent reason, tensions build between the environment and its inhabitant, play is encouraged and the influences on the work are intentionally mixed. In their not-always-successful experiments with movement and materials, many of which critic Tom Lubbock has described as “sculptural pratfalls,” Wood and Harrison employ exuberant invention, subtle slapstick, and a touch of light-hearted melancholy to reveal the inspiration and perspiration—as well as the occasional hint of desperation—behind all creative acts.

Wood and Harrison met in 1989 at the Bath College of Higher Education, and have worked together since 1993. Their work is represented in the collections of the Centre Pompidou, British Council Collection, Kadist Foundation, MOMA, Tate, MUDAM, Tel Aviv Museum, and Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, among others.

For more information please contact Candace Moeller at

Venue ( Address ):

Other events from Cristin Tierney Gallery

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04/26/2024 to 06/08/2024
Debbi Kenote and Mark Sengbusch: Cross Cut
03/08/2024 to 04/20/2024
Mary Lucier: Leaving Earth
01/19/2024 to 03/02/2024
Seminal: Masculinity in Contemporary Art
10/13/2023 to 11/18/2023



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