Articulating Robert Harms’ process in an introductory catalog essay, noted curator Henry Geldzahler wrote: “Robert looks hard at nature, ingests what he sees, contemplates it at length, squaring it in the process with his own temperament.” Geldzahler also noted the resonance of the East End environment for Harms, who began painting here in the early 1980s. 

Born on Long Island, in Nassau County, it seems no accident that Harms has chosen to paint in the Hamptons where in the nineteenth century John Kensett, and more recently Fairfield Porter and Willem de Kooning, have continued their exploration of the continuum between nature and art. Harms descends from the tradition of action painting and also holds a deep appreciation for early 20th century masters of the American landscape. Rather than conveying literal representations of specific landscapes, however, the power of Harms’ canvases rests in their potential to suggest familiar natural spaces and conditions that spark personal memories in the individual viewer.