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Shellburne Thurber: Phantom Limb

September 21, 2019 – November 2, 2019

 

I began as a portrait photographer and feel that I am still making portraits. Inhabited spaces tell you a lot about the people who live and work in them and are more revealing in some ways than anything a person might say to describe themselves. I certainly feel that this is true with photographic portraiture, which is frequently more about the photographer than it is about the sitter. A portrait of somebody’s home gets at who they are indirectly but often more accurately. (Shellburne Thurber)

Krakow Witkin Gallery proudly announces “Phantom Limb”, Shellburne Thurber’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. Renowned for her long-term photo-based projects including, “Home” exhibited at the ICA, Boston in 1999, “Renovation” at the Boston Athenaeum in 2002, “9 Wellington” at Barbara Krakow Gallery in 2011 and “Looking for Saint-Gaudens” at the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in 2015, Thurber has used the medium of photography to explore the relationship between constructed space and human presence. Thurber’s newest project uses the site of her family’s New Hampshire home to expand on this exploration to include the concept of constructed space as a metaphor for the body – specifically the house as a stand-in for the mother, a structure that witnesses, nurtures, contains and protects those who reside within its walls. For this show, “Phantom Limb” goes beyond the traditional presentation of photographs to create an environment that reflects the artist’s interest in the landscape as both an extension of the home and as another kind of interior-inside and out being symbiotically connected. With this body of work, Thurber also comes full circle to her early black and white interiors, which began her lifelong interest in the energetic quality of lived space.

To be surrounded by a person’s possessions and immersed in the texture of the landscape and the buildings in which they lived, to see the light and the weather they saw from the places they inhabited, is to know that person in a particularly powerful way. Emerging from this intimate connection has been my continuing interest in the interactions of human presence, landscape and architecture. (Thurber)

The images from “Phantom Limb” come from years of observing the way that the changing seasons and the attendant shifts in light alter these long familiar spaces in minute yet powerful ways. The act of photographing becomes a way of experiencing something, known over a long period of time, in a new and transformative way. It is also a process that involves being still and allowing the pictures to make themselves known. This patience comes across in the imagery as a palpable intimacy. The momentary-ness of the light, balanced with the seeming stillness of the scenario, creates images that encompass the complex and uncomfortable question of change, stasis, and the inevitability of loss. In addition, the arrangements, whose reasoning of placement is known only to the family, enable one to feel the presence of the occupants both present and past. Impressively, Thurber creates photographs where this intimacy is balanced with an emotional space that allows viewers to use her imagery as a template on which to project their own past experiences.

We walk through life constantly experiencing the world through a lens that has been shaped and continues to change based on what we’ve experienced in the past. No one comes at the same thing from the same place, making any one experience of any given person, place or thing entirely subjective and unique. Whenever I work, I am bringing all of my memory with me, much of it forgotten but often recognized and rediscovered in the subject matter in front of my camera. I also suspect that I seek out subjects that give me an opportunity to talk about and have a conversation with that part of my life memory that is no longer accessible to me. (Thurber)

Shellburne Thurber graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University. Her work has been in numerous group and one person shows both in the USA and abroad. Her work is in several collections including the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Addison Gallery of American Art, the Worcester Art Museum, the ICA Boston and the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, to name a few. She has taught extensively throughout New England, most recently as visiting professor of photography at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She has been the recipient of several awards including a fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and an Anonymous Was a Woman grant.

Works In Exhibition

Exhibition View

Shellburne Thurber Exhibition View

Leaves on Dark Water

Shellburne Thurber Leaves on Dark Water 2019 Color photograph mounted to acrylic

6 5/8 x 8 7/8 inches (16.8 x 22.5 cm)
Edition of 25
(Inventory #30816)

Light Marks on Mill Bridge Road

Shellburne Thurber Light Marks on Mill Bridge Road 2019 Black and white photograph mounted to acrylic

10 1/2 x 10 3/8 inches (26.7 x 26.4 cm)
Edition of 2 in the exhibited size
Edition of 12 in 20 x 20 inches
Edition of 8 in 30 x 30 inches
Edition of 3 in 40 x 40 inches
(Inventory #30817)

Sun on Rug – Master Bedroom

Shellburne Thurber Sun on Rug – Master Bedroom 2019 Color photograph mounted to acrylic

8 7/8 x 11 7/8 inches (22.5 x 30.2 cm)
Edition of 25
(Inventory #30834)

Piano Room Door to Porch

Shellburne Thurber Piano Room Door to Porch 2019 Black and white photograph mounted to acrylic

14 7/8 x 14 7/8 inches (37.8 x 37.8 cm)
Edition of 2 in the exhibited size
Edition of 12 in 20 x 20 inches
Edition of 8 in 30 x 30 inches
Edition of 3 in 40 x 40 inches
(Inventory #30825)

Shadow on Back Door

Shellburne Thurber Shadow on Back Door 2019 Black and white photograph mounted to acrylic

11 7/8 x 11 7/8 inches (30.2 x 30.2 cm)
Edition of 2 in the exhibited size
Edition of 12 in 20 x 20 inches
Edition of 8 in 30 x 30 inches
Edition of 3 in 40 x 40 inches
(Inventory #30832)

Porch Light at Night

Shellburne Thurber Porch Light at Night 2019 Color photograph mounted to acrylic

9 3/8 x 12 inches (23.8 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 25
(Inventory #30829)

My Dresser at Night

Shellburne Thurber My Dresser at Night 2019 Black and white photograph mounted to acrylic

16 x 15 7/8 inches (40.6 x 40.3 cm)
Edition of 2 in the exhibited size
Edition of 12 in 20 x 20 inches
Edition of 8 in 30 x 30 inches
Edition of 3 in 40 x 40 inches
(Inventory #30822)

Steve’s Bedroom at Night

Shellburne Thurber Steve’s Bedroom at Night 2019 Black and white photograph mounted to acrylic

13 5/16 x 13 5/16 inches (33.8 x 33.8 cm)
Edition of 2 in the exhibited size
Edition of 12 in 20 x 20 inches
Edition of 8 in 30 x 30 inches
Edition of 3 in 40 x 40 inches
(Inventory #30833)

Glade with Dark Trees and Sunlit Branch

Shellburne Thurber Glade with Dark Trees and Sunlit Branch 2019 Color photograph mounted to acrylic

8 7/8 x 11 7/8 inches (22.5 x 30.2 cm)
Edition of 25
(Inventory #30818)

Matt’s Bedroom at Night

Shellburne Thurber Matt’s Bedroom at Night 2019 Black and white photograph mounted to acrylic

12 x 11 7/8 inches (30.5 x 30.2 cm)
Edition of 2 in the exhibited size
Edition of 12 in 20 x 20 inches
Edition of 8 in 30 x 30 inches
Edition of 3 in 40 x 40 inches
(Inventory #30821)

Parents’ Bedroom at Night

Shellburne Thurber Parents’ Bedroom at Night 2019 Black and white photograph mounted to acrylic

8 7/8 x 8 7/8 inches (22.5 x 22.5 cm)
Edition of 2 in the exhibited size
Edition of 12 in 20 x 20 inches
Edition of 8 in 30 x 30 inches
Edition of 3 in 40 x 40 inches
(Inventory #30824)

Late Fall Drive on Bean Road

Shellburne Thurber Late Fall Drive on Bean Road 2019 Color photograph mounted to acrylic

5 7/8 x 8 5/8 inches (14.9 x 21.9 cm)
Edition of 25
(Inventory #30815)

Moonlit Sky

Shellburne Thurber Moonlit Sky 2019 Color photograph mounted to acrylic

16 x 21 5/16 inches (40.6 x 54.1 cm)
Edition of 25
(Inventory #30862)

Door Leading out of Geof’s Room

Shellburne Thurber Door Leading out of Geof’s Room 2019 Color photograph mounted to acrylic

19 7/8 x 19 3/4 inches (50.5 x 50.2 cm)
Edition of 14 in the exhibited size
edition of 8 in 30 x 30 inches
edition of 3 in 40 x 40 inches
(Inventory #30811)

Geof’s Bedroom – Cubby with Cowboy Print

Shellburne Thurber Geof’s Bedroom – Cubby with Cowboy Print 2019 Color photograph mounted to acrylic

15 x 14 7/8 inches (38.1 x 37.8 cm)
Edition of 2 in the exhibited size
Edition of 12 in 20 x 20 inches
Edition of 8 in 30 x 30 inches
Edition of 3 in 40 x 40 inches
(Inventory #30810)

Late Afternoon Light Across Bed in Parents’ Room

Shellburne Thurber Late Afternoon Light Across Bed in Parents’ Room 2019 Color photograph mounted to acrylic

11 1/8 x 14 7/8 inches (28.3 x 37.8 cm)
Edition of 25
(Inventory #30813)

Light Reflection on Bathtub

Shellburne Thurber Light Reflection on Bathtub 2019 Color photograph mounted to acrylic

8 7/8 x 11 7/8 inches (22.5 x 30.2 cm)
Edition of 25
(Inventory #30830)

Needlepoint Pillow and Straw Duck

Shellburne Thurber Needlepoint Pillow and Straw Duck 2019 Color photograph mounted to acrylic

11 1/8 x 14 7/8 inches (28.3 x 37.8 cm)
Edition of 25
(Inventory #30823)

Master Bedroom with Blue Chair

Shellburne Thurber Master Bedroom with Blue Chair 2019 Color photograph mounted to acrylic

17 7/8 x 17 5/8 inches (45.4 x 44.8 cm)
Edition of 2 in the exhibited size
Edition of 12 in 20 x 20 inches
Edition of 8 in 30 x 30 inches
Edition of 3 in 40 x 40 inches
(Inventory #30820)

Late Afternoon on Mill Bridge Rd – Light on Leaves

Shellburne Thurber Late Afternoon on Mill Bridge Rd – Light on Leaves 2019 Color photograph mounted to acrylic

10 7/8 x 16 3/8 inches (27.6 x 41.6 cm)
Edition of 25
(Inventory #30814)

Piano Room Porch Door and Round Mirror

Shellburne Thurber Piano Room Porch Door and Round Mirror 2019 Color photograph mounted to acrylic

21 7/8 x 21 3/4 inches (55.6 x 55.2 cm)
Edition of 14 in the exhibited size
Edition of 8 in 30 x 30 inches
Edition of 3 in 40 x 40 inches
(Inventory #30826)

Light Coming Through My Bedroom Window

Shellburne Thurber Light Coming Through My Bedroom Window 2019 Color photograph mounted to acrylic

11 5/8 x 15 5/8 inches (29.5 x 39.7 cm)
Edition of 25
(Inventory #30819)

Insect on Front Door Screen

Shellburne Thurber Insect on Front Door Screen 2019 Color photograph mounted to acrylic

6 5/8 x 8 13/16 inches (16.8 x 22.4 cm)
Edition of 25
(Inventory #30809)

Blinding Light Coming Through Geof’s Window

Shellburne Thurber Blinding Light Coming Through Geof’s Window 2019 Color photograph mounted to acrylic

11 3/4 x 17 7/8 inches (29.8 x 45.4 cm)
Edition of 25
(Inventory #30808)

Porch Chairs Side by Side

Shellburne Thurber Porch Chairs Side by Side 2019 Color photograph mounted to acrylic

15 1/8 x 14 7/8 inches (38.4 x 37.8 cm)
Edition of 2 in the exhibited size
Edition of 12 in 20 x 20 inches
Edition of 8 in 30 x 30 inches
Edition of 3 in 40 x 40 inches
(Inventory #30827)

Writing Desk in Parents’ Room

Shellburne Thurber Writing Desk in Parents’ Room 2019 Color photograph mounted to acrylic

17 3/4 x 17 5/8 inches (45.1 x 44.8 cm)
Edition of 2 in the exhibited size
Edition of 12 in 20 x 20 inches
Edition of 8 in 30 x 30 inches
Edition of 3 in 40 x 40 inches
(Inventory #30835)

Screen Side Porch in Late Afternoon

Shellburne Thurber Screen Side Porch in Late Afternoon 2019 Color photograph mounted to acrylic

19 7/8 x 19 5/8 inches (50.5 x 49.8 cm)
Edition of 14 in the exhibited size
Edition of 8 in 30 x 30 inches
Edition of 3 in 40 x 40 inches
(Inventory #30828)

Rolling Road in Late Afternoon

Shellburne Thurber Rolling Road in Late Afternoon 2019 Color photograph mounted to acrylic

10 3/8 x 14 3/8 inches (26.4 x 36.5 cm)
Edition of 25
(Inventory #30831)

Light Hitting Open Water

Shellburne Thurber Light Hitting Open Water 2019 Color photograph mounted to acrylic

16 x 21 5/16 inches (40.6 x 54.1 cm)
Edition of 25
(Inventory #30861)

Dark Water

Shellburne Thurber Dark Water 2019 Black and white photograph mounted to acrylic

16 x 24 inches (40.6 x 61 cm)
Edition of 25
(Inventory #30860)

Exhibition View

Shellburne Thurber Exhibition View
View Larger Image Exhibition View

Back Door with Light Mark

Shellburne Thurber Back Door with Light Mark 2019 Color photograph mounted to acrylic

Frame size: 36 5/8 x 36 1/4 inches (93 x 92.1 cm)
Edition of 2 in the exhibited size ($5,000)
Edition of 3 in 40 x 40 inches
Edition of 8 in 30 x 30 inches
Edition of 12 in 20 x 20 inches
(Inventory #30807)

Geof and Steve Holding Hands

Shellburne Thurber Geof and Steve Holding Hands 2019 Black and white photograph mounted to acrylic

Frame size: 14 1/2 x 19 1/8 inches (36.8 x 48.6 cm)
Edition of 25
(Inventory #30812)

Light Refracting Through Trees

Shellburne Thurber Light Refracting Through Trees 2019 Black and white photograph mounted to acrylic

20 x 20 inches (50.8 x 50.8 cm)
Edition of 14 in 20 x 20 inches
edition of 8 in 30 x 30 inches
edition of 3 in 40 x 40 inches
(Inventory #30863)