Penelope Umbrico: Sun/Screen, The Photographers’ Gallery, London

This new work by award-winning New York based artist Penelope Umbrico continues her exploration into the consumption of photographs online, particularly focusing on the persistence of sunset imagery.

For Sun/Screen, Umbrico used an iPhone to re-photograph images cropped from thousands of sunset images shared online, this process of capturing images directly from the computer screen creates a moiré pattern: an optical illusion caused by pixel grids, meshes or dot patterns.

These effects are then amplified through editing, as Umbrico combines the collected imagery into a single slideshow, with each shot dissolving into the next. This creates a secondary moire effect that draws attention to the significance of the screen itself as viewing and publishing platform, and the unnatural experience of viewing landscapes reproduced online.

Presented alongside Sun/Screen is Never-ending Sunset (Second Life), 2011 in which Umbrico meditates upon simulated light: an endless sunset takes place, hovering over an artificial sea taken from the virtual world Second Life. The fantasy of what a perfect sunset might be is frozen in time and never fully resolved.

In accordance with the exhibition, the artist will take over the Instagram feed of The Photographers’ Gallery, the UK’s first independent gallery devoted to photography, to further her debate surrounding web imagery, mobile apps and the value of the photograph in digital culture.

Penelope Umbrico: Sun/Screen, until 28 January, The Photographers’ Gallery, 16-18 Ramillies Street, London W1F 7LW. For more information visit

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1. Penelope Umbrico, Still from Sun/Screen, 2014. © Penelope Umbrico. Courtesy of the artist.