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Surface Tension: Architectural photographs from Peter Vanderwarker

photo of city skyline across the water at sunset - photo credit Vanderwarker
Exhibition Opening:
January 5, 2019
Exhibition Closing:
April 29, 2019

Surface Tension: Architectural photographs from Peter Vanderwarker

The Storefront Gallery at BSA Space will feature a collection of architectural photographs from Peter Vanderwarker exploring the nature of surfaces, in both the built and the natural environment.

Peter Vanderwarker headshotPeter Vanderwarker was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University in 1997 and earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of California Berkeley. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Graham Foundation and is the author of three books about architecture in Boston. His photographs are in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Addison Gallery of American Art. In 2009 the Boston Athenaeum presented Vanderwarker's Pantheon: Minds and Matter in Boston, an exhibition of portraits of iconic buildings and pivotal people.

Statement from the artist:

I had two favorite courses in architecture school: One was titled Materials and Methods; it covered the details of what architects build with: glass, steel, concrete, brick. The other course, Shades and Shadows, required us to render these materials in pencil, ink, and watercolor.

I spend a lot of time looking at how light works to make a surface read well: concrete must have texture, steel must look robust, and glass must be clear. The way light strikes these materials is critical, and it can make or break a photograph.

These photographs are therefore studies in distortion, reflection, opacity and invisibility. Good architecture also exploits these phenomena in order to give a building mass or perhaps try to make it appear small and delicate.

A word about cameras: today's 50MB digital cameras are all dumb acuity: they see everything but solve nothing. I have two pieces of advice for photographers: One move around a lot and watch carefully how light strikes your subject. Two: Buy really really good lenses. Mine are made by Nikon and Zeiss.

All prints in this show were made by Mark Doyle at Autumn Color, a very fine printer.

Header image courtesy Peter Vanderwarker.