February 15, 2015

Jessica Todd Harper: The Home Stage @ The Print Center, Philadelphia

Jessica Todd Harper: The Home Stage 
The Print Center, Philadelphia 
Through March 28, 2015

The Print Center opens its Centennial year with Jessica Todd Harper: The Home Stage, the first solo exhibition in Philadelphia by the renowned photographer (b. 1975, Merion, PA). The exhibition coincides with the release of her second monograph of the same name (Damiani Editore).

Jessica Todd Harper 
The Home Stage
Published by Damiani Editore (2015)
Foreword by Alain de Botton, text by Alison Nordstöm

The Home Stage continues Harper's photographic investigation into her own life and extended family, as well as the families of friends and other acquaintances. In many of her images we see Harper with her three young children and husband in scenes that writer Alain de Botton describes as showing "ordinary life in the family, an especially poignant subject, because marriage and life with children are always buffeted and frustrated by inescapable difficulties." Harper herself has said that the work grew out of an "overwhelming sense that when we became parents, Chris and I had entered into an alternate and strange world." 

Jessica Todd Harper's figures are captured in images suffused with gorgeous light recalling the work of painters from other centuries, including Whistler, Sargent and Vermeer. Photography curator Alison Nordström has written that while Harper's works are "casual in their framing, composition and content, they offer the initial impression that the viewer is a fly on the wall, accidentally observing the most intimate of interactions. In fact these images are carefully thought out, planned, and constructed." The Home Stage presents a world that is both deeply personal and deftly orchestrated.  

Jessica Todd Harper has had recent solo exhibitions at Rick Wester Fine Art, New York, NY; Galerie Confluence, Nantes, France; Cohen Amador Gallery, New York, NY; and The Museum of Art, Ball State University. Her work has also been included in recent group exhibitions at the Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; Gallery 339, Philadelphia, PA; The George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, Rochester, NY; Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA; New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA; and Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Harper's work is held in the collections of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA; Haverford College, Haverford, PA and the Photo Center NW, Seattle, WA. Harper earned her BA from Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA and her MFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY. 

This exhibition was awarded from The Print Center's 88th Annual International Competition, juried by Julia Dolan, Minor White Curator of Photography, and Bruce Guenther, Chief Curator, Mercedes Eichholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, both of the Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR.

The Print Center