In his new exhibition The Edge of Space, the artist William Wylie explores the embellishment of space through architecture across a tightly edited selection of photographs spanning the past ten years. Using light to illuminate volume, he transforms buildings from Germany, Italy, and the United States into highly evocative representations of what he calls “spatial practice,” meditations on how people organize and order the place within which they exist and move.

Throughout the history of photography, buildings have been highly valued as photographic subjects. The first photograph, View from the Window at Le Gras by Nicephore Niepce, was also the first architectural photograph. In The Edge of Space, Wylie sharpens that tradition by employing a refined and spatially complex linearity previously seen in his work from the marble quarries of Carrara. His subjects here range from nineteenth century greenhouses and Brutalist apartment buildings to the metal hanger used to hide the Enola Gay bomber, the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb, during its training runs in the Utah desert.

William Wylie earned his BFA from Colorado State University and his MFA from the University of Michigan. Early in 2018, he released Pompeii Archive, a book documenting his explorations of Italy’s Pompeii. Pompeii Archive was published by Yale University Press. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Art, and Yale University Art Museum. His awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a VMFA Professional Fellowship and the Yale Gallery of Art’s Doran / LeWitt Fellowship in 2012 and 2014. He lives in Charlottesville and is the Director of the Studio Art Department at the University of Virginia.