Self Portrait of the Artist as the Archangel Michael, William Harper , (1996), Gold Cloisonne, Enamel on Fine Gold & Silver, Sterling Silver, Moonstone, Opal, Citrine, Glass, Plastic

In the world of artist William Harper’s vibrant and improvisational jewelry, craftsmanship and concept are always entwined. Visitors to the Cleveland Institute of Art can experience his singular visual voice in William Harper: The Beautiful & the Grotesque, a 20-year retrospective.

The more than 60 works of art on view will include Harper’s exquisitely crafted fine jewelry; display boxes built from assemblages of found objects; paintings; and Japanese-style folding books.

Driven by an intense love for the material process, Harper combines unexpected objects, including plastic beads, nails, and bone as well as pearls, jewels, precious metals, and enamel. The Beautiful & the Grotesque underscores the tension between high and low, between precious and disposable, and between what draws and repels a viewer.

William Harper: The Beautiful & Grotesque is on view from April 4 to June 14, 2019 in CIA’s Reinberger Gallery. An opening reception will be held 6–8 pm on Thursday, April 4 at the Cleveland Institute of Art (11610 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland).

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