Joseph Scheer 

Through a Dirty Window

May 1 - May 31, 2016

Curator: Ting Liu

T+H Gallery is pleased to announce Through a Dirty Window, a solo exhibition of several recent bodies of work by Joseph Scheer, consisting of larger-than-life moth Iris prints, compilation books of digital prints and video stills, as well as digital and photogravure prints.  This is Scheer’s first show in 5 years in Boston, on view at 460 Harrison Ave, C19 & C20.

The first body of work is comprised of Iris prints on traditional Chinese Cloud Dragon paper, a delicate paper that mimics the fragility of his main subject - the moth - and its ecosystem.  Although more challenging to print on this kind of imperfect and porous paper, Scheer has found that it better suits his subject other than the chemically coated machine paper commonly used by photographers, which make the moths appear unnatural.  By utilizing high-resolution scanners, he effectively brings about the incredible beauty of moths that is regularly missed by the unsuspecting human eye, a creature so often dismissed as mundane.  These prints reveal the gorgeous color contrasts and texture covering the insect, a palette so uniquely beautiful that it has inspired fashion designers, including the late Alexander McQueen, whom created a line of evening gowns using Scheer's moth images. Scheer says that these prints, part of his “imaging biodiversity” project, are “about seeing the things that live on our planet in a particular intense way.”

Resting among the moths are six compilation books of prints and video stills, housed in sculptural woodcut boxes - even bookcases made by Scheer are beautifully delicate art objects.  The images in the book (along with prints) Through a Dirty window – fastly, were taken on a late afternoon/early evening high-speed train ride from Shenyang to Beijing.  Photographing through a smudged and highly reflective window proved challenging, especially at peak speeds of 152 mph.  The landscape was changing so rapidly that sometimes several images were taken in a matter of a few seconds. Many parts of the environmental landscape in China are disappearing and even the view in these images will inevitably be obscured, as cottonwood trees are being planted along the rails.

In the adjacent room, there is a collage of prints composed of multiple bodies of work, including photogravure prints focusing on images he collected of tricycles in China.  One large moth printed on watercolor paper displays the extraordinary detail and clarity that can be produced with flatbed scanning technology.

Scheer currently works as Professor of Print Media at Alfred University, New York, and also as the Director/Founder of the Institute for Electronic Arts at Alfred University, New York.  He actively collaborates with scientists on “Imaging Biodiversity” projects with the Drylands Institute in Tuscon, AZ and the National Autonomous University of Mexico.  Scheer has exhibited widely internationally and his work is represented in numerous public and private collections.  Recently, his work was part of the exhibit, American Printmaking Now, which traveled to five major Chinese museums.  His most recent work has been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, the National Museum of China (Beijing), and The Field Museum (Chicago).  Two books have been published about his work: Night Vistions, he Secret Designs of Moths (Prestel Publishing) and Night Flyers (Nexus Press).  His work has been written about in over 120 books, exhibitions catalogues and periodicals including: National Geographic, Nature, ArtForum, ArtNews, Science and the New York Times.

For further information about Through a Dirty Window, please contact Rory Bledsoe at or 617-515-0645.

Download PDF version