John Chervinksy - An Experiment in Perspective &Studio Physics

John Chervinksy, An Experiment in Perspective, Studio Physics

Galerie Youn will be presenting John Chervinsky’s first exhibition outside U.S. borders. A Harvard University laboratory engineer and a photographer, Chervinsky examines notions of perspective and optics, and the nature of time, light and space. He wonders, “What would happen if the interval of image capture one chose was measured not in seconds, but in weeks?”

The works presented in Montreal are drawn from two major series by the artist, “An Experiment in Perspective” and “Studio Physics,” which have attracted the attention of a number of American media outlets, including The Los Angeles TimesThe Boston Globe and The Wall Street Journal.

Physics experiments

In “An Experiment in Perspective,” the photographer worked with a pair of slate blackboards and reflective panels. Chalk drawings become spatial tools, and found objects act as sculptural elements. The works, which look like whimsical scientific demonstrations, are meant to be an “experiment in perspective.” What then remains of a sculpture when it is photographed in two dimensions? Why, in a photo, does the chalk drawing on slate seem to float in the air? Setting aside equipment and optical science, can we see the universe from any fixed point and at any given moment?

For the series “Studio Physics,” Chervinsky first composed a still life, which he photographed. He then sent a portion of the image to a factory in China so that it could be reproduced in paint. This painting, mailed from China to the United States, was then reintegrated into the original installation and photographed once more. It’s a process by which the American artist incorporates the representation of his creation throughout its evolution and across its movements through time and space.

John Chervinsky is a self-taught photographer and an engineer working in the field of applied physics. Since it first opened at the Griffin Museum of Photography in 2005, his “Experiment in Perspective” series has been traveling the country including solo exhibits at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Art Gallery, Batavia IL, Michael Mazzeo Gallery, NYC and Blue Sky Gallery, Portland OR. His work is held in numerous public and private collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Museum of Art, Portland OR; and Fidelity Investments Collection.

Chervinsky spent eighteen years running a particle accelerator at Harvard University and has collaborated with museums, using accelerator technology in the analysis of art. He currently works for Harvard’s Rowland Institute for Science, originally founded by Polaroid’s Edwin H. Land. He lives in Somerville, MA with his wife Kirsten.