Tuesday, October 2, 2012


SKY HIGH ~ Artist's reception December 7, 2012, 6-9 pm

“The clouds were there for everyone.” -Alfred Stieglitz

“The photo can optically replace its object to a certain degree. This takes on special meaning if the object cannot be preserved.” –Bernd and Hilla Becher

SKY HIGH is an exhibition about beauty. The presentation is a typology of skyscapes. The photographs, a catalogue of our skies, document the variety of shapes, forms, colors, and textures, seen in the clouds above us. Each viewer sees a unique picture, the personal experiences and histories affecting the truth of what the viewer sees. The collection, and its presentation, is founded on historical precedents.

The subject of clouds was much studied by one of photography’s, and American Modernism’s, pioneer, Alfred Stieglitz.  His series, ‘Equivalents”, was produced later in his career, (most were made between 1925-1935) and were purely lyrical abstractions, intended to function evocatively, to elicit emotions in the viewer. The photograph is a metaphor, the cloud shown in the picture, is more than the ‘thing’ pictured, but primarily a ‘function’, a device, to generate a feeling in the viewer. (Equivalence: The Perennial Trend. Minor White, PSA Journal, Vol. 29, No. 7, pp. 17-21, 1963)

1923. Gelatin silver print, 4 5/8 x 3 5/8" (11.8 x 9.2 cm). Alfred Stieglitz Collection. Gift of Georgia O'Keeffe. Held in collection at The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Bernd and Hilla Becher were married German photographers who catalogued the existence of many industrial buildings, and other architecturally interesting structures, and presented them in the grid form. Their motivation was to create an historical record of this "nomadic architecture which had a comparatively short life -maybe 100 years, often less, then they disappear. It seemed important to keep them in some way and photography seemed the most appropriate way to do that." (quote by Bernd Becher)

Bernd and Hilla Becker, Installation view

What is more transient than the ever-changing vista above our heads? How often are you aware of the beauty above? If we take the time to look, the beauty is there for everyone. Remember to notice, and do not lose this treasure, the ability to find beauty.

Exhibition featured at Valhall Arts, please visit the website for more details. 

Soundscapes selected by Chris Reider,  ambient sounds and experimental music, all part of creative commons, and free for anyone.

Photograph by Laura Brent, 2012

SKY HIGH, 28 Photographs by Laura Brent, installation view