Jessica Eaton: Mariphasa lupina lumina

M+B is pleased to present Mariphasa lupina lumina, an exhibition of new works by Jessica Eaton. This is the artist’s fourth solo show with the gallery. The exhibition opens on January 20 and will run through February 17, 2024, with an opening reception on Saturday, January 20, from 4 to 7 pm.


Throughout Jessica Eaton’s practice, she has delved into the essence of photography, meticulously dissecting its fundamental elements - light, color, temporal dimensions, and the intricate dance of lenses, shutters, film, and filters. Eaton crafts renditions of the world that transcend what is visible to the naked eye. Eaton’s work, existing at the intersection of modernist abstraction, scientific imagery, and the digital age's pervasive influence, offers a profound exploration of the boundaries and speculative possibilities of human vision. 


In Mariphasa lupina lumina, Jessica Eaton presents a vivid exploration of the photographic medium, continuing to expand perceptions of reality and journeys into the realm of the imaginative. The series draws inspiration from a mythical, light-emitting flower featured in the 1935 film Werewolf of London. This reference becomes a metaphor for Eaton's own work—creating images that shine with an otherworldly light and transform the familiar into the extraordinary.


In this series, Eaton's photographs are a sophisticated interplay of reality and invention. She chooses flowers as her subjects, a seemingly simple choice. Yet, like her earlier works using a cube, it is a choice loaded with historical significance. Flowers, with their varied forms and inherent beauty, offer Eaton an opportunity to challenge and expand the limits of photographic representation. Eaton’s practice often creates multiple iterations of a singular subject using a set of variables, through repetition she points to photography as a medium of boundless possibilities beyond faithful representation. Eaton refers to these latest works in the Mariphasa lupina lumina series as her “pressed flowers,” evoking their resemblance to pressed flowers through varying degrees of trompe l'œil bas-relief effects. This technique, where parts of the picture are selectively inverted, is combined with a process of pressing and pulling the pictorial information to extremes, oscillating between negative and positive, capturing Eaton’s ongoing study of custom solarization techniques. 

In Mariphasa lupina lumina, Eaton redefines the breadth of photography, blurring the lines between the ephemeral and the eternal. Her work stands as a vibrant dialogue between nature's whimsy and the meticulous craft of the photographer.


Jessica Eaton (b. 1977, Regina, Saskatchewan) received her BFA from the Emily Carr University in Vancouver. In 2019 she was awarded the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. Recent solo exhibitions include Mariphasa lupine lumina, Bradley Ertaskiran, MontreĢal, Canada; Time On A Bottle at Higher Pictures Generation; Wild Permutations at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland; Flash: Jessica Eaton at the California Museum of Photography, Riverside; and Ad Infinitum, The Photographers’ Gallery, London. Eaton was selected for the 2017 iteration of the Canadian Biennial, and her work was exhibited at the National Gallery of Canada. Eaton has been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including Under Construction – New Positions in American Photography, Foam Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam; Process and Abstraction at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Transformer Station; Color Acting: Abstraction Since 1950 at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, FL; Québec Triennial at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal; Photography is Magic, Daegu Photography Biennale; and Phantasmagoria at Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver. Eaton was nominated for the prestigious Sobey Art Award in 2016. Notable press includes The New York Times, The New Yorker, Art in America, ARTnews (cover) and The Guardian. Her work can be found in the public collections of the National Gallery of Canada and the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, among others. Jessica Eaton lives and works in Toronto, Canada.