Jordan Sullivan: The Young Earth & An Island in the Moon, 2014

Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art at Site 109, 109 Norfolk Street, New York, NY, 10002  

6 November – 7 December 2014

Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art is pleased to present Jordan Sullivan: the young earth & an island in the moon. This is the gallery’s first solo exhibition of Sullivan’s photography and the inaugural exhibition in a series of four for Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art at Site 109, located at 109 Norfolk Street in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

the young earth follows two Americans in their twenties, one of them terminally ill, as they explore idyllic and remote corners of Iceland. Immersing themselves into foreign and wild landscapes, they are forced to confront their own mortality and a past love triangle that briefly disrupted their friendship. One man, leaving behind the ones he loves, faces his impending death and questions about an afterlife, while the other contemplates an uncertain future and loneliness without his best friend. the young earth explores how two men attempt to find courage and serenity in the face of oncoming tragedy. The landscape images in the series capture the expansiveness of Iceland’s geography.  At the same time, Iceland serves as a literal and metaphorical example of the young earth - it is one of the youngest geological formations on the planet, and also the testing ground for these young men to find themselves. Juxtaposed with these images are voyeuristic portraits depicting moments of indecision, anxiety, wonder, and reflection. The landscapes and portraits act as mirrors of one another, reflecting the history and inner lives of both subjects. the young earth gives the viewer the sense of wandering through the private and shared memories of its characters. the young earth is a meditation on death, the end of youth, and the beauty and complications that come with love and friendship.


An island in the moon presents a new range of imagery for Sullivan. While continuing experimentation with staged photography, these portraits and landscapes are viewed through the eyes of a storyteller rather than that of a documentarian. In The Snow Leopard  Peter Matthiessen wrote: "Form is emptiness and emptiness is form.” Inspired by this concept, Sullivan has tried to create quiet images that find expression within a void. The photographs, printed in muted tones, evoke emotional states of longing and wonder, moments of calm in an increasingly chaotic world.

Jordan Sullivan is an artist and writer living in Los Angeles, California. His photographs and prose have appeared in publications such as Dazed Digital, Dossier Journal, Twin Magazine, VICE, Art + Design (China) and ELLE. His most recent book, the young earth, published by Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art, is a photo-illustrated novella. His work has been exhibited in solo and two-person exhibitions in Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles and Houston. His next book, The Burial Cloud , is an illustrated biography, to be published in 2015 by Black Balloon.

PHH