new-york

Jessica Rath, Sisters small and different, 2012, ink-jet print on paper, 32 x 41".

Jessica Rath

Jack Hanley Gallery

Jessica Rath, Sisters small and different, 2012, ink-jet print on paper, 32 x 41".

Jessica Rath’s large-format photographs of apple trees in winter, all made this year, have a kind of alarming beauty. Taken with clinical precision, the ten images portray the barren trees against lengths of white muslin, either alone or in a row, rising up from a scrubby ground that is in places littered with bruised and rotting fruit. The blank backdrops and bare branches emphasize the shapes of the trunks and configurations of branches—the “architecture” of the trees—inviting the viewer to track the differences between each image: Some trees have a narrow, columnar shape, others have outstretched or drooping branches, and still others are clipped or gnarled.

These photographs, and a selection of nine porcelain sculptures of apples that accompanied them, are responses to the complex discipline of apple breeding. The abundance of apples in modern life involves a good

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