Jane Harris British, b. 1956

Contemporary British artist Jane Harris graduated from Goldsmiths in 1991 with an MA in Fine Art, following a Higher Diploma from the Slade School of Art also in Fine Art (1979-81).


Harris’ work is held in many major collections. She has been a prizewinner at the John Moores Liverpool (1995) and twice at the Jerwood Drawing Open (1996 and 2002). In 2012 she won the Sunny Dupree Family Award for a woman painter at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.


Harris is best known for her use of the ellipse as a recurring motif in her works. Her oil paintings and works on paper in watercolour and graphite draw inspiration from the natural world and phenomena that exist within it, paying particular attention to the ever-changing relationships between surface, light, form and space. In the paintings, fluted edges and uniform brush marks disturb any spatial reading of the paintings, while metallic paint brushed – wet into wet – in different directions creates fluid optical effects that shift as you move around the work. In the works on paper, these shifting spatial effects are played out differently where pools of watercolour butt up against zones of graphite and the white of the paper itself. The technical virtuosity of her process, paired with the almost sculptural quality of her work, has rather poetically been termed “Rococo Minimalism”.


“Harris’s work synthesizes two seemingly contradictory artistic impulses – towards severity and simplicity, and towards multiplicity and ornateness.” 

– Barry Schwabsky