Requiem for Modern Relics: Michael Todd Harrison

16 Feb

I grew up in a household where old things were relished and appreciated.  My dad and brother refurbished antique cars.  My mom had a knack for painting and reusing old furniture.  Family vacations were taken to historic sites instead of Disney World.  So it isn’t any wonder that I have a fondness for the sculptural work of Seattle artist Michael Todd Harrison.

13, assemblage

Architectural fragments and wood are stacked together as building blocks of these humble monuments to the past.  Some of Harrison’s pieces, like the one above have a charming, vintagey-homey feel, as if they were plucked directly from the wreckage of a derelict Queen Anne home.  Others, such as Burst, are more abstract in feel and organic in shape, carefully hap-hazard.  In the artist’s hands, what could have simply been a pile of scrap wood becomes an explosion of line and shape.



Harrison’s latest series, Skyscrapers, takes inspiration from walks through the city, with it’s tall monuments built long ago by men who have since been all but forgotten.  There is a poetic loveliness in these folksy, wooden sculptures paying homage to albatrosses of glass and steel.  A reminder, perhaps of architecture’s humble beginnings, as well as our own.


Small Church

To see more of Michael Todd Harrison’s work, please visit his website.  He is currently the Artist-In-Residence for the James W. Washington Foundation in Seattle during the month of February.  You can keep up with his residency work here!

Featured image is Horizon by Michael Todd Harrison.  All images are via the artist’s website.

11 Responses to “Requiem for Modern Relics: Michael Todd Harrison”

  1. michaeltoddharrison February 16, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    Thank you so much Lesley!

    • Lesley February 16, 2012 at 10:47 am #

      My pleasure, Michael! 🙂


      • michaeltoddharrison February 16, 2012 at 11:26 am #

        What a nice way to start the day, thank you! I love your observations about my work. Spot on.

  2. Impower You February 16, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    The 13 assemblage and skyscrapers are awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Mark Mc Donagh February 16, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    Hello Lesley,London calling!!l
    Similar background in the fact i was brought round historic buildings and catholic churches
    instead of amusement parks so i enjoy the architectual quality of this blokes work!!
    I do a bit of art myself but am a bit of a technophobe and do not own my own computer
    {Library}but am enjoying your blog!!

    • Lesley February 16, 2012 at 10:48 am #

      Haha, Mark, thanks for using your library computer time to catch up on the blog! 🙂 Say hello to jolly olde Londontowne for me!


  4. Nicole February 16, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    Love this!!! Michael’s work looks historic, but modern at the same time. I was also raised to appreciate history, so that’s probably why I like this so much.

    • Lesley February 16, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

      Glad you liked them, Nicole! PS– Hope to have something to send you soon!


    • Nicole February 16, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

      Yay! That would be awesome!

  5. 35andupcynicismonhold February 16, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

    hello, lesley,

    his works are amazing. thank you for sharing them… cheers! 🙂

    • Lesley February 16, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

      I agree! Glad you stopped by, Todd!


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