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Caleb Cain Marcus: A Portrait of Ice

February 3, 2014 - July 18, 2014

National Academy of Sciences, 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W.

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Viewable 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Closed weekends and holidays.

Caleb Cain Marcus spent two years on a journey to Patagonia, Iceland, Norway, New Zealand and Alaska photographing glaciers. He often used a vertical frame to reflect a relationship with the land that is akin to an intimate portrait. Containing only two elements, ice and sky, the horizon that typically grounds a landscape vanishes. Freed from the horizon, a sense of scale is lost, altering one's experience of a landscape. It is in this unfamiliar territory that Cain Marcus hopes viewers can fully experiences the persona of ice.

His previous project, The Silent Aftermath of Space, attempted to find the solitude one feels in nature on the streets of New York City at night. Cain Marcus' response to the New York work is A Portrait of Ice. Before he started to photograph the glaciers he tried to pinpoint the stresses of living in a metropolis of high-rise buildings. He discovered that when the horizon is obstructed for long periods of time, as it is in New York City, people become detached from nature. He then wanted to understand the effect of a landscape without a horizon. The absence of a horizon in the city gives a feeling of compression and density but with the ice it frees the glaciers of perspective and scale that detaches them from reality.

Caleb Cain Marcus is a New York-based photographer, born in Colorado's Rocky Mountains. He is dedicated to the poetic search for the balance between city, nature, man, and the invisible. His photographs are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the High Museum of Art, among others. He holds an MFA from Columbia University.

Caleb Cain Marcus' website

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