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.

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art, exhibit, photographs

Center for Theoretical Physics
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