by Sky Goodden

Photography Is

Blouin Art Info


Higher Pictures’ Curator Kim Bourus Discusses Sarah Anne Johnson and Jessica Eaton

As ARTINFO contributor Kyle Chayka wrote last week of the inaugural show at New York’s Higher Pictures new gallery space on Madison Ave., “it’s a photography gallery, but it would be difficult to tell from their first show in this new location.” The new show, “Photography Is,” curated by owner Kim Bourus, is a collection of images by a group of young artists “who deconstruct and reassemble the traditional notion of the photograph, modifying the photo’s surface, re-photographing, and playing visual and conceptual tricks with viewers,” Chayka observes. Notably among its roster are two significant Canadian talents, Sarah Anne Johnson and Jessica Eaton (the recent recipient of the Photography Jury Grand Prize at the 27th International Festival of Fashion and Photography in Hyeres, France). Bourus took a moment to discuss these inclusions with ARTINFO Canada.

“When I saw Arctic Wonderland by Sarah Anne Johnson, the names Gustave Le Grey and William Garnett immediately came to mind,” Bourus says. “Johnson’s art successfully pushes forward by freely and inventively including additional media.” Her invention with new media has been winning the Winnipeg native a heightened profile, these past few years, with a 2008 Grange Prize for Photography (through the Art Gallery of Ontario), a Sobey Art Award nomination, a cover story feature in Canadian Art magazine, and a recent pairing with the legendary Peter Doig at the National Gallery of Canada’s adjunct gallery at MOCCA, among other laurels.

Bourus presented the equally advancing Jessica Eaton in a solo show late last year, and notes, “as soon as I saw her work I recognized she was a huge talent. Her use of light to mix and create color and composition in the camera through multiple exposure and movement on film is simply phenomenal,” she says.

“Both artists continue to take risks, and that is what is required to make exceptional art.”

“Bourus doesn’t play to easy definitions,” Chayka writes. The gallery owner and curator seeks observes her agenda to be “historical revisionism in a medium,” one which she still considers “embryonic.”

“Kim really breaks down boundaries,” commented Eaton, who is planning her second solo show at the gallery. “I’m generally a bit apprehensive about medium-specific spaces. Higher Pictures is an amazing exception to that.”

“Photography Is” continues at Higher Pictures until May 26, 2012.