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Jessica Eaton
Exhibition: Custom Colour
Dates: April 16 - May 23, 2015
Opening: April 16, 2015, 6 - 8pm

Higher Pictures presents Custom Colour, the New York debut of Jessica Eaton’s newest body of photographic work. Eaton’s practice is characterized by rigorous inquiry and tireless experimentation. The most fundamental properties of photography and the very nature of reproduced vision are the subjects of her visually arresting, logic-driven investigations.

While at first glance the new series of baroque floral still lifes seems to be a dramatic departure from the minimalist cubes and geometric abstractions of her first major body of work— cfaal (Cubes for Albers and Lewitt) [2010–2014]—the two projects are in direct dialogue. The essential question of how photography and vision inform and interpret each other persists, and the exchange of a readily abstracted form for a classically representational one allows for a further distillation of Eaton’s propositions. Taking one discrete image as the point of departure, the prints on view here are a treatise on the perception and interpretation within the color and the limitations and possibilities of color processing.

For her first foray into the carbon process, Eaton has created UVBGRIR (2014/2015), a series of prints featuring the same flower arrangement. The suite includes a “normal” meant to most closely align with human vision, and a range of custom variants generated through swapping and combining information from RGB, ultraviolet and infrared black and white film separations. Eaton’s floral studies have been a prolific undertaking over the last year, resulting in hundreds of negatives. Custom Colour presents the very beginning of this project.[1] What becomes beautifully clear standing before Eaton’s prints is that color itself is a construction and that color photography, far from replicating our perceived reality, is an engineered approximation of it – an unreliable surrogate for seeing.

Jessica Eaton was born in 1977 in Regina, Saskatchewan and earned her BFA in Photography from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver. Wild Permutations, a solo exhibition of her work, is currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland. Past solo exhibitions of her work include Ad Infinitum (2014), presented by The Photographers’ Gallery in London, and she was featured in the 2012 Daegu Photography Biennial and the 2011 Quebec Triennial. Eaton lives and works in Montreal.

For more information please contact Patrick Lloyd at 212-249-6100.


[1] MOCA Cleveland. Mueller Family Gallery. Jessica Eaton: Wild Permutations. Rose Bouthillier, 6 Feb. 2015. Web. 14 Apr. 2015.