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Invisible Valley

New Prints by John Pearson

On View: April 10, 2017 – June 30, 2017


This series of polymer photogravure prints by co-op artist John Pearson features images from the Red River Valley captured during the artist's residency in McCanna, North Dakota.

The artist spent two weeks photographing this this region as a guest of the North Dakota Museum of Art’s McCanna House. Invisible Valley presents a handful of the hundreds of photos he gathered while exploring the area’s towns and villages and the spaces in between. The resulting photos reveal his lurking fascination with people’s “stuff” in the environment: What is being cared for, and what is being ignored?  What belongs, and what is out-of-place? What is in the front yard, and—especially—what is out back?

The Red River Valley of the North is a rich agricultural region that buffers the border between Minnesota and North Dakota. The landscape is so broad and flat, and the descent into the valley so gradual, that, upon arrival, a person has no sensation of being in a valley at all.

Pearson utilizes polymer plates to yield a softer, more tactile image than other contemporary photo printing processes. Building upon this intrinsic surface quality, in this series he has applied traditional intaglio techniques to maximize the expressive potential of the medium. This includes using more than a single ink color on a plate, layering plates of different colors and printing plates adjacent to one another to expand an image beyond the original digital capture.