One Month, Weather Permitting



Sharon Harper

March 4 - April 24, 2010

Since the earliest days of the medium, photographers have turned their lens towards the heavens at night. Now, beginning March 4, 2010, Rick Wester Fine Art (RWFA) presents a contemporary investigation comprised of a complex and resonant series of photographs of the night sky by the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based photographer and video artist Sharon Harper. Orchestrated with time exposures that create arresting, minimalist compositions, twelve 40 x 30 in. black and white and color photographs will be on view through April 24, 2010 as part of the exhibition, One Month, Weather Permitting.

The images on view capture long-exposure star trails over Banff, Alberta, Canada. To create what she refers to as "star scratches," Harper exposed sheets of film for several nights in a row, re-exposing the film using different camera orientations. As in previous bodies of work, the artist embraces environmental and technical interruptions as the gifts and vagaries of the photographic process.

In Harper's words, the photographs contain "chance compositions, acknowledging that the sublime resists imposed structure." The series exists as a controlled experiment resulting in star trails that can only be captured through the camera with random results. Comprised of fluid and serene translations of the sublime through technological endeavors, Harper's photographs continue to mine the relevancy of nature's grandeur today.

Currently an assistant professor of photography at Harvard University, Harper's work was shown in New York in 2001 in a one-person exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the first in the museum's "First Exposure" series. Sylvia Wolf, then the Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography at the Whitney, said Harper's images were "beautiful, spiritual, metaphoric."

The artist's work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Galeria Arnés + Röpke, Madrid, Spain, and at Galerie Stefan Röpke, Cologne where her work is also represented, at Sebastian Fath Contemporary in Mannheim, Germany and has been in group exhibitions at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in New York, the Wallraff-Richartz-Museum in Cologne, Germany, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York among others. Her work resides in several collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York; The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon; Bayerische Vereinsbank, Munich, Germany; and the Sprint Collection, Kansas City, Kansas.

 All works © Sharon Harper.