Charles Harlan, Firewood, 2016
The artwork of Charles Harlan often begins in the hardware store, perhaps inspired by the shop owned by his parents in Georgia. Harlan uses such industrial objects as ladders, shipping palettes, prefab marble countertops, and a one-ton metal pipe as readymade sculptural objects—the latter a minimalist statement in the scale of Richard Serra that seemed to mysteriously appear inside the small JTT Gallery on the Lower East Side. In these installations, the artist recasts the everyday in a new light. As he unceremoniously put it in a recent limited-edition book for Karma, “dumb objects can become artworks simply by moving them somewhere.” For Harlan’s work, such recontextualization is just the beginning.