The Surreal Collages of Jim Harter


Jim Harter was largely self-taught as an artist. From 1969-72 he played a small part in creating posters for Austin’s legendary rock venues, the Vulcan Gas Company and Armadillo World Headquarters. Influenced by San Francisco collage artist Wilfried Satty, Harter turned to making surrealist collages from 19th century engravings. In 1976 he moved to New York, becoming a freelance illustrator, and editor of clip-art books for Dover, and later for other publications. In 1984, he began painting using an old-master technique. This work was influenced by his earlier collages, but also owed something to Symbolism, Surrealism, Fantastic Realism, and an exposure to Eastern Philosophy.

A quote from his statement: “Generally speaking, my images are an attempt to tap into an archetypal reality, one that to my mind seems both timeless and deeply human. Thus I feel less like I am part of some modern trend but rather I am one following a well-trodden and ancient path, a path known not only to artists, but poets and others who have tried to express what is ultimately mysterious and ineffable.”




















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1 Comment

  • Jim,

    Not sure if you remember me. I met you in Lubbock around 1973 or 1974 at Texas Tech art classes I think.

    My name is Ralph Sanders. In now live in Santa Cruz, CA.

    You gave me 5 Filmore West posters and told me I better not use tacks to put them up on the wall!
    I never did. My favorite, the Rick Griffin “Heart and Hand Big Brother” has been framed for a very long time now.
    I have religiously taken care of the others till I have now donated them to a fundraiser for my daughter’s group home here at Soquel CA near by.
    It is a life time living and farming community for people with developmental disabilities. She was born in Savannah, GA in 1991 when I was a Professor of Illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design.
    She has Downs Syndrome and is very high functioning. Super proud of her.
    My son was born in Chattanooga, TN in 1988. He graduated BFA Art Institute of Chicago and MFA San Francisco
    Art Institute, both degrees in Photography. Proud of him, he is working good job in Los Angeles.
    My wife who I met in 1975 at Tech is still with me after 41 years!
    I am working on a graphic novel for 5 years now “Pilgrim’s Progress the Graphic Novel”.
    Eric Reynolds at Fantagraphics is interested!
    Seen your clip and collage books over the years and thought about you recently through the posters.
    Hope you are in good health and spirit. Look at my website if you have a moment.
    Please contact me if wish,
    Highest Regards,
    Ralph Sanders 831 454 8774

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