Continuing through February 23, 2013
Born, raised and still based in Chicago, photographer Joseph D. Jachna has been taking masterful nature and landscape photographs for half a century. Though at first the gallery sought to exhibit a retrospective of his career, the discovery of his never-before-seen 1961 thesis project and the subsequent photos he took in Door County, Wisconsin made “Surface Contradictions” a fascinating window into the artist’s formative years.
Black and white, and approximately palm-sized, these images are solemn and formal. Jachna’s many images of water are no literal seascapes; they’re organic shapes and high-contrast abstractions. Common material like asphalt, cement blocks and wooden fencing are framed so as to heighten their textures and harsh geometry, and sever them from their original contexts. While some subjects become monumental or mysterious, others are almost unrecognizable as representational imagery. This exhibition demonstrates that from the start, Jachna has been adept at capturing the exquisite pictures to be deciphered from the familiar.