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This spring, the Sotheby’s Institute of Art-New York MA in Contemporary Art curatorial course will be mounting a series of exhibitions at our campus in midtown Manhattan. You’re invited to the opening receptions for our student-curated exhibitions. Learn more about the exhibition series.

Feeling the Rapture Grow — On view April 25-30, 2018

Sotheby’s Institute of Art is pleased to present Feeling the Rapture Grow, a solo exhibition of Rick Shupper, curated by Edward Rossa, MA Contemporary Art candidate class of 2018.

Feeling the Rapture Grow is a solo exhibition of the photography of Rick Shupper and brings together for the first time twenty silver gelatin photographs created between 1979 and 1991. Born in New Jersey in 1946, Shupper has been living in New York City since the 1960s and has been documenting the world around him through photography since 1977. The style of his photographs ranges from intimate portraits of fellow artists to visual documentation of historic queer underground happenings in the city. Having survived the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and experienced its devastating impact firsthand, much of his work tends toward documenting the life and times of the brilliant, audacious and talented figures that inhabited the city’s former underground scene. Many of the subjects of his work now only exist in the shadows of the silver gelatin that make up his vast archive of photographs.

Selected in collaboration with the artist from his vast body of work, the images on view serve as a survey of abbreviated narratives, which relate a sense of the resilience of these human spirits and their ability to relate to each other intimately in the face of such tumultuous times. The photographs will be accompanied by the names of the subjects depicted as well as short narratives derived from the curator’s interviews with the artist; these include heroic figures such as Marsha P. Johnson and other unsung heroes from a time when our country’s establishment let these angels of the city perish without showing empathy or remorse.

Rick Shupper (b 1946) has been taking photographs in New York City since 1977. He has studied photography at the School of Visual Arts and has a BA from the City College of New York. His work has been shown in numerous exhibitions and galleries including the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. Shupper lives in Brooklyn where he continues to work as a fine art photographer.

For more information and images please contact the curator at

Photo: Joe Reigert on his roof, 1986 (detail)

Exhibitions are free and open to the public upon preliminary registration from 10 AM to 5 PM. RSVP to