HUNTING ART PRIZE WINNER MARSHALL HARRIS
EXPLORES THE NUANCES OF PASSING IN DEATH DO US PART.
he first time I met Marshall Harris in 2011 he was
wearing a kilt. While this was already unusual garb
for Dallas, what was even more extraordinary
was his heavily bearded looming presence at six foot
seven, making the kilt especially startling. Harris
is a TCU football Hall of Fame inductee and pro
football alum, formerly with the Cleveland Browns,
and on this day any character in Braveheart would have
united behind this seemingly heroic warrior and less-likely artist.
My initial encounter with Harris was during the
annual New Texas Talent show at Craighead Green
Gallery. He was among the featured “new” artists.
Though a bit intimidating in stature, a bastion of
talent he is. His hyperrealistic drawing Round Up B.F
Smith & Son Saddlery, circa 1940-1942, exquisitely
textural using graphite on Mylar, earned him the
2013 Hunting Art Prize with spoils to the winner at
With a fine arts degree from Texas Christian
University (where he currently teaches) and an MFA
from University of the Arts in Philadelphia, the Fort
Worth native is much more than a saddle artist. But
make no mistake, these works are significant, highly
sought-after, commissioned, and collected.
I happened upon Harris a year later, sporting a
shorn beard, during an opening for cross-pollinated
group shows at Circuit 12 Contemporary and Mary
Tomás Gallery. This time the artist was clad in overalls,
and I would not have recognized him without the kilt
were it not for his largesse. Although a saddle was
present at Mary Tomás, most of the pieces at both
galleries were beyond weighty—the most gripping,
Jesus Christ that must hurt, depicted a life-sized graphite
drawing of one of Christ’s arms and hands during
the crucifixion. Chilling, the vivid miniscule hairs on
the arm made my own stand on end.
In Death Do Us Part, his solo show opening on
October 12 at Red Arrow Contemporary, the artist
brings a consummate collection of remarkably large