roomXroom

portrait

portrait

portrait

ARTISTS: Ralf Brück, Candida Höfer, Matthew Jordan, Laura Letinsky, and Andrew Moore
DATES: February 2007
VENUE: James Harris Gallery, Seattle
Co-Curated with James Harris

The JHG Project room is pleased to announce a group exhibition of international photographers exploring the architecture of public and private space. The show includes Ralf Brück, Candida Höfer, Matthew Jordan, Laura Letinsky, and Andrew Moore. The exhibition will be installed in both the front office and back project room, in order to physically move the viewer room by room through the gallery.

While the images are drained of human presence, each photographer has instilled their photographs with an underlying emotive atmosphere of humanity. The work shares a formal and reductive aesthetic not only to emphasize the rooms' function, but also to investigate a psychology of the built environment. At first glance, the photographs of German artists Ralf Brück and Candida Höfer are cool and minimal. Upon closer inspection, a subtle humor is revealed through the placement or style of furniture, composition and architectural ornamentation. Bathed with light, these public spaces emit warmth in an otherwise sterile environment. Canadian photographer Laura Letinsky draws on the history of painting to distill her compositions into the simplest of gestures. Walls and moldings become defining lines breaking the room into quadrants of color and texture. New York photographer Andrew Moore captures the sounds and movement of a bowling alley through the saturation of color and composition. The spheres or dots of the bowling balls punctuate the composition and are a counterbalance to the rhythm of the wood lanes. Los Angeles artist Matthew Jordan uses mirrors to capture the psychological and physical depth of a room. It is through this reflective surface that the baroque details of a parquet floor are juxtaposed against the bare minimal stainless steel and concrete walls defining the space. Nuances of light and shadow create tension in an otherwise spare environment.

While all of these works picture architecture in which people are absent, their content is markedly social. By omitting actual people from these structures, the photographs reveal the way that spaces themselves can guide and shape social interactions.