Photographic Exhibit: "Surface Tension" by Peter Vanderwarker
Monday, October 15, 2018 at 8:00am to 6:00pm
Center for Theoretical Physics Building 6, 3rd Floor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
From the artist's statement:
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.
I chose a set of photographs that fit well at MIT: they are studies of the physics of surfaces: distortion, reflection, opacity and invisibility. Water is especially magic: wave patterns on the ocean in Maine become lines of force, the surface of a pond in the rain is insanely complex, while a tide pool with seaweed has a stillness that is profound.
My favorite image is from Paris. While wandering past a bookshop window, I noticed the out-of-focus reflection of a classical statue at St. Sulpice: it seemed that art, literature, and architecture all collapsed into one picture.