In his book, "In Praise of Shadows" Junichiro Tanizaki said, "We find beauty not in the thing itself, but in the patterns of shadows, the light and darkness that one thing against another creates." I have pursued and recorded shadows, attempting to give them material substance equal in weight to planes and solids in architecture.
Light fascinates me, specifically what light does to architecture. It transforms architecture, different materials absorb, reflect or transmit light in different ways, affecting our reading of form.
I am not an architectural photographer; I don't document buildings. Rather, I am a photographer who uses architecture as subject matter.
Ambiguity has always been a hallmark of my work, often solids become voids, causing positive and negative to reverse. At times, curved forms seem to flatten, scale is distorted and perspective exaggerated. Gravity itself is defied in some images.
My photos are small fragments of architecture taken out of context.
The subject is decomposed and recreated, assuming a new meaning.
Architects have commented that I expose elements in their work they never imagined existed. Thus, while using architecture as subject matter to invent my own worlds, I am also revealing many of its underlying complexities.
Judith Turner resides in New York City where she began taking photographs in 1972. She has had solo exhibitions in the United States, Europe, South America, Israel and Japan. Her work has also been included in many group exhibitions.
Turner has been awarded several grants and fellowships. She received an Honor Award from The American Institute of Architects in 1994 and a Stars of Design Award in Photography from The Design Center of New York in 2007.
Books of her photographs include: JUDITH TURNER PHOTOGRAPHS FIVE ARCHITECTS, Rizzoli, New York 1980; WHITE CITY, Tel Aviv Museum, Tel Aviv 1984; ANNOTATIONS ON AMBIGUITY, Axis Publications, Tokyo 1986; PARABLES & PIECES 1990 and AFTER 1992, Vincent FitzGerald & Company, New York; NEAR SITINGS, City Arts Center, Oklahoma City 1995; BETWEEN SPACES, Princeton Architectural Press, New York 2000; WTC Photographs by Judith Turner, Pentagram Design, New York 2011; SEEING AMBIGUITY, Edition Axel Menges GmbH 2012.
Her prints are in public and corporate collections including: International Center of Photography, New York; Brooklyn Museum, New York; George Eastman House Collection, Rochester; New York State Archives, Albany; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Library of Congress, Washington D.C.; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; Architectural Association, London; Royal Institute of British Architects, London; Museum Ludwig, Koln; University of Leiden, Leiden; Alvar Aalto Foundation, Helsinki; Tel Aviv Museum, Tel Aviv; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo.
Video works include: HISTORY OF A PAPER TUBE ARCH, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2000 and CONSTRUCTING BARUCH'S VERTICAL CAMPUS, Dormitory Authority, State of New York, 2002.
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