“River of Shadows” Exhibition

Heller Gallery

poster for “River of Shadows” Exhibition
[Image: Rebecca Cummins "Shooting Stars: Benjamin Moore" (2007) ed. 2/5, digital print on plexiglass, 24 x 36 in. ]

This event has ended.

curated by Kim Harty

Heller Gallery presents the exhibition River of Shadows, an inquiry into the material properties of glass and the themes and metaphors that accompany them. The exhibition is curated by Detroit-based artist, writer and educator Kim Harty. Please contact us for registration to attend the virtual opening.

Through photography, nine artists explore the mechanics of state changes, fracturing, distortion, and the incremental development of skill. The 18 photographs in the exhibition reveal the desire to capture the fleeting magic of glass and draw on insight gained by a sustained practice working with the material.

“Glass is iterated again through the lens of the camera,” says Harty. “The technology allows us to expand human perception, finding ways to freeze, slow down, and layer time. If seeing and knowing are inexorably linked, this exhibition demonstrates an urgency to understand the material of glass more deeply.”

Each of the artists takes a different approach to imagining glass’s changing states. While David Schnuckel visualizes the slow melting of his painstakingly handmade goblets, Ethan Townsend captures instantaneous swirling movement of molten glass through space. Amy Lemaire uses handmade lenses to create painterly panoramas of modern architecture, and Carmichael Jones uses scanner imaging of vessels to create a surreal landscape. Sharyn O’Mara elevates ephemeral smudges left on windows into twinkling chandeliers. Helen Lee nods to the transition between life and death by examining the moment of a glass drop explosively shattering. Rebecca Cummins pokes fun at the idea of the masterpiece showing a bullet penetrating two famously recognizable glass artworks, and Dylan Brams considers the process of skill acquisition by visualizing the fifteen year long process of mastering a single form. Harty’s images explore the movement of the body in relationship to the crafted object.

Named for Rebecca Solnit’s biography of Edward Muybridge, River of Shadows considers how the medium of photography has the potential to expand perception.

As Harty explains, “Solnit describes the advent of popular photography in the 1850’s and how ‘every photograph was snatched from the river of time.” In the same way that time ‘flows’’ we might imagine glass flowing, the molten material becoming a pliable skin, only to shatter moments later. Capturing glass’s fleeting strangeness, contradictions, beauty, and ambiguity provokes the viewer to contemplate the wonder and complexity of the materials, objects, and surfaces that surround them.”

Artist & curator Kim Harty’s work explores the connection between craft and performance and is heavily informed by her training as a glassblower. She is interested in undoing traditional methods of making and investigating how materials can confound their expected function. Harty has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Oxbow School of Art, and Penland School of Crafts. Her artwork and collaborative performance work has been shown in museums in the United States and Europe, including the Design Museum Gent, Corning Museum of Glass, and the Toledo Museum of Art. Harty has written for Glass Quarterly and Detroit Research. Currently she serves as Assistant Professor and Chair of the Crafts Department at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan.



from November 19, 2020 to December 31, 2020

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