Chelsea Gallery Art: Nathan Harger at Hasted Kraeutler
Pickings were a little slim as we strolled through Chelsea art galleries last weekend, as they often are this time of year. The big crowd-pleasing shows of the holiday season were mostly gone (though Brice Marden is still up at Matthew Marks, and will be through the 22nd), and many galleries were either in "Closed for Installation" mode or putting on somewhat half-hearted group shows. And then there was Nathan Harger's superb photographs at Hasted Kraeutler, and we were reminded once again why we love Chelsea gallery art hopping, no plan or agenda, just pop in and out of places until you stumble upon the extraordinary… which in our case, on this day, were these gorgeous high-contrast shots of, for the most part, the (often decaying) industrial landscape of the Tri-state area.
Hasted Kraeutler represents several of our favorite contemporary photographers, including the great Edward Burtynsky, and Nathan Harger fits squarely into this group. Here are power plants and pilings and criss-crossing cranes; a process tank, a tight row aluminum sided homes, and an abandoned ship; a jumbo jet, the Wonder Wheel, and a Queens subway; nearly two dozen shots in all, many so stark and monochromatic that they almost look like line drawings, all, in our opinion, interesting and surprising and beautiful.
And Nathan Harger is no one-trick pony, either. Perhaps our favorite piece in the entire show was shot in color, the gridded Holding Patterns, above, which brings together twenty images taken of the skies over Brooklyn. Simple, chaotic, wonderfully composed. Similarly, with Overpass, below, his witty, fractured portrait of the BQE, Harger eschews the high-contrast look to excellent effect. This is Nathan Harger's first-ever solo show–born in Cleveland, a Parsons graduate, he's only in his mid-30s–and we're excited, to say the least, about where he'll take us next.
Nathan Harger at Hasted Kraeutler Details
The Nathan Harger exhibition will be on display until January 29. The Hasted Kraeutler gallery is located in Chelsea, on 24th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues, and is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.