Sharon Harper

United States

Photography, Fine Art, Prints

Sharon Harper
Sharon Harper
United States
April 13, 2015
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

Sharon Harper is an American visual artist who explores the intersection of technology and perception. Harper received an MFA in photography and related media from the School of Visual Art in New York in 1997.

Mystical Scenes of Harper’s photographs

More than ten years Sharon Harper has been photographing the sky to capture images that remain unseen without a camera. Using different methods of photography, including multiple exposures, time exposures, and gridding, Harper has captured the moon, sun, planets and stars as only seen in fiction or one’s imagination. Creating stunning, mystical scenes, Harper’s use of the photographic medium in no way distances us from the terrestrial, natural world, on the contrary, it enhances our relationship to our environment. The images themselves and the technology behind them are not always clear, which is the crux of Harper’s work.

“Moon Studies and Star Scratches”

In many of Harper’s works, this resulting composite image is both representational and abstract, as in her series “Moon Studies and Star Scratches”, 2003-2009, in which the star trails and multiple moons form patterns beyond recognition. The artist employs multiple exposures on one sheet of film over days, weeks, even months, to trace the trajectory of both the moon and stars. The result is a dizzying representation of time itself, where light years are echoed in just a few centimetres. The same, deliberate “slow photography” is used for “One Month, Weather Permitting”: a month-long chronicle of the sky, traversed by clouds, bursts of light, and the haze of pollution. Again, long and multiple exposures present the broad arc of the sky, alive with movement.

Sharon Harper – Untitled, from the One Month, Weather Permitting series, 2009, photo credits – artist

The “Sun/Moon” (Trying to See through a Telescope) series, presents a montage of images of the moon and sun, taken with a digital camera fixed to a telescope: the distortion due to the use of both instruments reminds us that our own perception of distant celestial bodies is inevitably conditioned by technology. The element of chance plays a significant role in Harper’s practice, and she welcomes environmental interruptions, light pollution, or accidents as part of her photographs.

From Above and Below

Sharon Harper’s book, From Above and Below, published by Radius Books in 2012, is a selection of Harpers images that explore the night sky, perception and technology. The images range from photographs to video stills, shot with a variety of cameras, some of which Harper creates using a telescope as a lens. Her experimental images of the moon, stars and sun draw on scientific and artistic uses of photography to illuminate the medium’s contradictory ability to both verify empirical evidence and to create poetic connections between our environment and ourselves. All of the images present a new way of looking at the night sky and seek a new way of understanding.
The book features essays by Jimena Canales and Phillip Prodger and work from seven distinct series: Moonfall (As Imagined by the Off-Duty Ferryman in flight over the River Styx), 2001, Moon Studies and Star Scratches, 2003 – 2008, One Month, Weather Permitting, 2009, and Twelve Hours from Winter and Spring, 2009, Sun/Moon (Trying to See through a Telescope), 2010 – Ongoing, and stills from the video piece Landshift, 2012. The photographs flow freely between projects and are sequenced to build an experimental, symbolic relationship between the camera, the image-maker and the natural world. Throughout the book, images of the moon, stars and sun bridge the medium’s ability to verify empirical evidence and to create poetic connections between our environment and ourselves.

Collection at the MoMA

Sharon Harper’s has received and attended numerous artist residency fellowships including at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, New York, MacDowell, in Peterborough, New Hampshire, the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, California, the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Virginia, and the Leighton Residencies at the Banff Centre in Banff, Canada. She is a 2013 recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in Photography.
Her work is in permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Fine Art, Houston, The Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, and the Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, and the New York Public Library, among other collections.

Sharon Harper is currently a Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University.

YearName of the exhibitionMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2014Sharon Harper: Shifting ViewsRick Wester Fine Art, New YorkSolo
2013Sharon Harper: From Above and BelowSala de Arte Instituto Canarias Cabrera Pinto, Tenerife, Canary Islands Solo
2013Sharon Harper: From Above and BelowBridgette Mayer Gallery, Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaSolo
2013Sharon Harper: From Above and Belowdnj gallery, Santa Monica, California, USASolo
2013Sharon Harper: From Above and BelowRadius Books, Santa Fe, New Mexico Solo
2013Sharon Harper: From Above and BelowColorado Photographic Arts Center, Denver, Colorado, USASolo
2013Sea and SkyHalsnoy Kloster, Halsnoy, NorwaySolo
2013UnknownThe National Media Museum, London, EnglandGroup
2013UnknownThe Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Saratoga Springs, New York, USAGroup
2013Unknown1708 Gallery, Richmond, VirginiaGroup
2013UnknownGriffin Museum, Winchester, MassachusettsGroup
2013Unknownde Cordova Museum, Lincoln, MassachusettsGroup
2012Sharon HarperGaleria Arnes y Ropke, MadridSolo
2012UnknownBelvedere Museum, Heerenveen, NetherlandsGroup
2012UnknownBates College Museum of Art, Lewiston, MaineGroup
2012UnknownHouston Center for Photography, Houston, TexasGroup
2011Sharon Harper: Night and DayGalerie Stefan Ropke, KolnSolo
2011UnknownSamson Projects, Boston, MassachusettsGroup
2011UnknownNelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MissouriGroup
2011UnknownChelsea Art Museum, New York, New York, USAGroup
2011UnknownSCAD Gallery, Atlanta, GeorgiaGroup
2011UnknownHarvard University Center for Government and International Studies, Cambridge, MassachusettsGroup
2010FlugGaleria Arnes y Ropke, MadridSolo
2010One month, weather permittingRick Wester Fine Art, New YorkSolo
2010Pulse NYGalerie Stefan Ropke, Koln Group
2009Twelve Hours from winter to springProof Gallery, Boston MassachusettsSolo
2009Der MondWallraff-Richartz-Museum, KolnGroup
2009And the Fair Moon RejoicesMills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MassachusettsGroup
2009Arte Fiera BolognaGalerie Stefan Ropke, KolnGroup
2009Art CologneGalerie Stefan Ropke, KolnGroup
2008Projektraum4Mannheim, Sebastian Fath Contemporary Deutschland Solo
2008Moon Studies and Star ScratchesGalerie Stefan Ropk, KolnSolo
2008Moon Studies and Star ScratchesGaleria Arnes y Ropke, Madrid, SpainSolo
2008CloudsEt Al, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago, IL, USAGroup
2008Art Hong KongGalerie Stefan Ropke, KolnGroup
2008Art ChicagoGalerie Stefan Ropke, KolnGroup
2008Art CologneGalerie Stefan Ropke, KolnGroup
2008Arte Fiera 2008Bologna, ItalienGroup
2008Preview 2008Galerie Stefan Ropke, Koln Group
2008Remix: Color and LightAlbright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, USAGroup
2007Moon Studies and Star ScratchesThe Print Center, Philadelphia, PA, USASolo
2007Pulse Miami Art FairGalerie Stefan Ropke, Miami, FLGroup
2007Grounding WorksGodine Gallery, MassArt, Boston, MAGroup
2007RecordingsAtlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, GAGroup
2006Anything But Paper PrayersBarbara Krakow Gallery, Boston, MAGroup
2006Sharon Harper and Helen MirraCarpenter Center, Cambridge, USAGroup
200680th Photo InternationalThe Print Center, Philadelphia, PA, USAGroup
2005New FacultyCarpenter Center Gallery, Cambridge, MAGroup
2005UnknownGallery 115, Greensboro, NCGroup
2004Summertimesm.ART, MunchenGroup
2004Art on PaperWeatherspoon Art Musuem, Greensboro, NCGroup
2003CelestialWork Space Gallery, New York, NY, USAGroup
2003Fresh PicksWeatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NCGroup
2003Sublime MetaphorOxford University Museum, Oxford, England Group
2002Sharon HarperSavage Gallery, Portland, OR, USASolo
2002Recent AcquisitionsPortland Art Museum, Portland, OR, USAGroup
2002Walk WaysPortland Institute of Contemporary Art, Portland, OR, USAGroup
2002Lost and FoundSavage Gallery, Portland, OR, USAGroup
2002Blurred VisionPhiladelphia Print Center, Philadelphia, PA, USAGroup
2001First Exposure Sharon Harper: Photographs from the Floating WorldWhitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, USASolo
2001Sharon HarperMarcel Sitcoske Gallery, San Francisco, CASolo
2001AquamarinUBR Galerie, Salzburg, osterreich Group
2000Sharon HarperGoethe-Institut, New York, NY, USASolo
2000WalkingBucknell Art Gallery, Lewisburg, PA, USAGroup
2000Greater New YorkP.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY, USAGroup
1997Blue LagoonWhite Columns Gallery New York, NY, USAGroup
1997New York Area MFA ExhibitionHunter College Art Gallery, New York, NY, USAGroup