Breathtaking stained glass, or a sign of bad luck? Such is the contradictory state of Bing Wright’s photographs of glorious skies reflected in—and fractured by–broken mirrors. The works in this show, the New York artist’s first with the James Harris Gallery, involved a multi-staged process of rephotographing and greatly enlarging images that had been projected onto portrait-sized shattered mirrors. The equally multi-layered thinking behind the 2012 series fits together as perfectly as the jigsaw-puzzle shards of glass. These follow from Wright’s previous works using silver leaf dropped on glass and other photographic experiments involving chance, reflective materials and more obliquely, the history of photography.
At over five feet tall, each of the five 62 x 48-inch color prints stands as a portal into its own warped world. Atmospheres range from tropical bliss to haunted dusk. The weather and waning light captured in these works embody photography’s intrinsic subjects: time and memory. In Broken Mirror/Evening Sky (Agfachrome), the thick craquelure culminates in a central suspended shape resembling a veined butterfly wing that intertwines with the blurry branches of silhouetted trees framing a glowing lake at sunset. The cracks in the simplest one, a cloudscape, Broken Mirror/Evening Sky (C-22), radiate outward like fluttering ribbons, enhancing the sense of expansive space. The parenthetical terms included in all the titles refer to discontinued photographic materials, another sign of time marching on.