Josh Harlan


Artist: Geometric Abstraction & Data



Fall 2020 - ongoing


Artist Representation
Communications Services
Creative Advisory
Media Relations
Social Media Strategy
Strategic Partnerships

Selected Press

Wall Street Journal

Artist Statement: Visual displays of information help us make sense of a complex world. While generally designed to be useful or practical rather than aesthetic, data visualization sometimes yields surprisingly appealing formal qualities when sufficiently abstracted from its original intent. My body of work draws on visual displays related to finance, telecommunications, epidemiology, politics, and transportation. I transform these visual displays of information into works of geometric abstraction by eliminating signifiers: words, numbers, legends, and explanations. The result has a dual quality: on the one hand, development of abstractions with pleasing formal and aesthetic qualities, and on the other hand, a lingering sense, conveyed by the highly structured nature of the resulting images, of some kind of significance, a dissonance, or encoded meaning that lies just beyond reach. — Josh Harlan

Biography: Josh Harlan creates geometric abstractions derived from visual displays of data and information. He takes inspiration from charts, diagrams, and data visualizations related to finance, media, telecommunications, transportation, and other sectors. Generally, his work is completed as digital files and printed on metal panels or glass-mounted photo-stock. He had his first solo show in August 2016 at the East Hampton Library in East Hampton, NY, entitled “Data is Art/Art is Data.” In 2018, Facebook, Inc. commissioned a site-specific installation of his work, Spectrum Fragments, for one of its headquarters buildings in Menlo Park, CA. The installation is comprised of eight 48”x48” metal panels printed with fragments extracted from a US government chart of frequency allocations.

Harlan studied philosophy at Harvard College and received a law degree from Yale Law School, completing coursework on the history of art while attending both institutions. Harlan lives and works in New York City.