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Review: Joseph D. Jachna at Stephen Daiter Gallery

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 02, 2014
Surface Contradictions 1958-1970

Through February 23, 2013


What began as an intention to give the long established and well celebrated photographer, Joseph D. Jachna a retrospective actually became a reflection on the artists foundation- early works from his graduate school days. Most works are unknown and have been unseen for years. The wealth of material discovered in two storage boxes is now on display at the Daiter Gallery.

These works, like much of what came later, explore themes of self - exploration, reflection, and expression. What we see in the frames is careful attention to the quality of the photograph. The values of the media are king- light, tone, and texture are well attended to. The subjects are skillfully rendered, and often illusive. Though identifiable many frames invite alternative interpretations. It is as if we begin knowing then loose ourselves so deeply in reality that it fades into a new plane. The water reflections that were Jachna's thesis work at the Institute of Design allow our eyes to rest on the surface but also invite us to create form in or with the water. One of the few titled water images,Brancusifrom 1960 for example depicts both receding ice on water's surface with calm shadowandthe form of a figure standing on a peek. Several more works from the same year are discoveries within surface and we find ourselves in one moment knowing and the next desiring to define. These early experimentations with quality and surface unfolded into Jachna's later practice where the quality of the print shifted to act in a way that was felt. His prints began to lean more on the poetic power within the subject, then his fluency with the media. Rendering remained elegant but not so powerfully noted, later works are smooth and seamless but these early examples prove an exciting look at the root of the artist's approach and practice.

For more information on the exhibition please visit Stephen Daiter Gallery

Newcity Review


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