The Sheltering Sky at Palo Alto Art Center

The Sheltering Sky

Exhibition Dates: January 19—April 7, 2019

 “A black star appears, a point of darkness in the night sky's clarity. Point of darkness and gateway to repose. Reach out, pierce the fine fabric of the sheltering sky, take repose.” ? Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky

 Taking its title from the iconic novel by Paul Bowles, this exhibition looks to the stars for comfort in the darkest of times. Our connection with, and attention to, the abstract concept we call the “sky” is binding, and contemplating its many facets provide rich subject matter for artists. This exhibition will explore a variety of artistic responses through works in a wide range of media.

 The origins of the word “sky” are various and many. In Old Norse it was the word for cloud; in Old High German it comes from the words for shadow and mirror; in Middle English, it can mean heaven. These definitions reflect the mutability of the sky itself; it is the true and original shapeshifter, never static, always evolving, a storyboard onto which we project ourselves and our mythologies, and from which we gather information about our possible futures.

 While the human stature may be small in comparison to the vastness of the atmosphere above and around us, we are inexorably linked to it, creating it and being created by it in every moment. We are burning, evaporating, decomposing, and breathing ? the results of which are taken up into the heavens and retuned to us as magnificent sunsets, roiling clouds, and acidic rain. Extreme weather events pound the planet; hurricanes, volcanic ash, flooding and drought all draw our gaze upwards. Yet no matter how surreal, how political, how dangerous it is, we still look to the sky for solace, and there is nothing like it to bring us back to earth.

 Participating Artists

Matthew Baum
Sarah and Joseph Belknap
Val Britton
Adrian Landon Brooks
Sukey Bryan
Eiko Borcherding
Linda Connor
Ala Ebtekar
Jenifer Kent
Vanessa Marsh
Chris McCaw
Anna Von Mertens
Pieter Laurens Mol
Demetrius Oliver
Katie PatersonDario Robleto
Camille Seaman
Hiroshi Sugimoto

New Works at Candela Gallery


Candela Gallery, Richmond, VA from MAY 4 - JUNE 16, 2018

Chris McCaw returns to Candela Gallery in his second solo exhibition featuring work from his recent projects, as well as new work from his Sunburn series. Over the last decade, Chris has continued to push the boundaries of the photographic medium, sharing his unconventional techniques for capturing the movement and the power of the sun as it travels through his viewfinder. With hand-built cameras and vintage photographic paper, McCaw creates unique pieces documenting the sun's movement through illusory land and seascapes. Long exposures throughout a day, or over multiple days, materialize as marks and burns made directly by the sun’s light as it exposes the paper. As McCaw writes, through this collaborative process, "the sun has become an active participant in part of the printmaking."

Candela will be showing several new works from McCaw’s Tidal series (2013-present), which builds on long exposures, and documents the rise and fall of the tides as they reveal sections of the shoreline. McCaw’s Cirkut series (2015) was produced in the Arctic Circle with a modified 1913 Cirkut camera—a rotating camera that was the first of its kind to create panoramic photographs. With a 10-foot long scroll of vintage photo paper, and a potential for 80 hours of continuous exposure, these images capture multiple sunrises and sunsets in one image. In his Poly-Optic and Heliograph projects (2012-present), McCaw ventures into the abstract by creating multiple exposure images with up to 63 lenses, directly writing with light. Permeating the work, McCaw's unique methods and innovative processes repurpose traditional photographic techniques while forging a new path for the medium. 

Phenomenon, Bolinas Musuem

April 8 - June 11, 2017

With artists: Lisa Blatt, Susan Derges, Lukas Felzmann, Maia Flore, Jack Fulton, Elijah Gowin, Germán Herrera, Thomas Jackson, Sangyon Joo, Chris McCaw, Meghann Riepenhoff

Guest Curated by Thomas Sempere

More Information

More often than not photographs are called upon to illustrate mere information. Descriptive or factual, the documentary use of the medium dominates. On occasion however, one might stumble upon an image that manifests differently. Either by circumstance or through an artist’s intervention, the result brings forth a range of senses from wonder to the sublime.

Culled from their larger context, brought together and hung with dissimilar works, each of the prints nonetheless remain exceptional. And like the process of sublimation (where an elemental substance leapfrogs from one state to another) these images too make a bypass, skipping the grounding of intellect by manifesting phenomena directly as spirit or something simply marvelous. 

Guest curator Thom Sempere has taught at the San Francisco Art Institute, University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University and is currently Executive Director of PhotoAlliance. 

Low Fidelity: CPA, Carmel, CA

April 8 - May 28

Artists’ Walk-Through: Saturday, April 8, 4 – 5pm
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 8, 5 – 7pm

More Information

CPA has invited five groundbreaking photographers for its exhibition, Low Fidelity: The Action of Light. The innovative approaches to photography of John Chiara, Chris McCaw, Moira McDonald, Klea McKenna, and Meghann Riepenhoff have drawn the attention of museum curators and collectors from New York to Los Angeles, as well as from those interested in the renewed explorations of pre-digital photography. Each of these artists has chosen to forgo the tech-heavy aspects of today’s version of the medium in order to revisit primary photographic methods using the action of natural light to create their images. Working with handmade or modified cameras, or no camera at all, all are readapting processes of the past and discovering novel approaches, while redefining what photography can be. Join CPA’s Executive Director Brian Taylor and the artists in the CPA gallery on Saturday, April 8 from 4 to 5 pm as they discuss their innovative photographs and projects. Following the talk, there will be an opening reception in the gallery from 5 to 7 pm. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be serve and exhibition catalogs will be for sale.

San Francisco artist John Chiara builds his own room-sized cameras, which he transports to locations ranging from city streets to open landscapes, on a flatbed truck. He creates his one of a kind prints by developing his color photographic paper “positives,” which can be up to 50 x 80 inches in size, in a huge PVC pipe filled with developer. The finished images demonstrate both raw, hands-on effects and exceptional detail. His work is held in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Pilara Foundation, San Francisco; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

San Francisco Bay area artist Chris McCaw custom-makes his own cameras. Using photographic paper rather than film, he photographs the sun, making minutes- hours- or even multi-day long exposures, which burn the sun’s path onto the paper and capture its movements against its land or sea background. McCaw’s work is held in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City;  and the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

Currently a San Francisco resident, the Australian born artist Moira McDonald is known for her experiments with pinhole cameras. Designing her cameras to imitate birdhouses and installing them in the wild, she exposes images of the landscape over extended periods of time. McDonald teaches in San Francisco and has exhibited nationally and internationally. She earned her Masters of Fine Arts degree at San Jose State University, San Jose, CA.

San Francisco-based photographer Klea McKenna uses light-sensitive paper to investigate ingenious methods for interacting photographically with the landscape. She uses the paper to make rubbings of organic materials, folds and reshapes it, and collects the limited nighttime light to create photograms. She has exhibited widely in California and on the East Coast. Her work is held in the collections of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the United States Embassy Collection.

Atlanta born, San Francisco and Washington-based photographer Meghann Riepenhoff takes light sensitive photographic papers outside, and manipulates them to capture the elemental movements of rain, lake, river and ocean waters, wind, sand, and sediment, chronicling remarkable visual evidence of nature’s action over time. Riepenhoff has exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally. Her work is held in the collections of the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.