Photo: Courtesy Isaac Layman/Frye Art Museum

Untitled, Isaac Layman, 2011. Photographic construction, ink-jet on paper. Dimensions: 83 × 59 in.

FOR A YEAR, AWARD-WINNING photographer Isaac Layman was holed up in his home studio in Wallingford, searching for a glimmer of paradise in the mundane—an ice cube tray, a crinkled piece of paper, even a pile of snotty tissues. “I don’t typically look at my oven for three days,” Layman said, but he would spend up to five hours photographing a single household object to create the 20-plus wall-size images now on display at the Frye. Most pieces are untitled, and some frames seem to hold blank canvases. Those four panels of glass? They’re actually windows from Layman’s house, which he realized he always looked through, but rarely looked at. A few were dirty—paradise isn’t perfect. The show’s full of contradictions, Layman said, and the tiniest things can turn into fantastic vistas. “You can get lost in an ice cube tray.”

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