Utilizing works from the de Saisset Museum’s permanent collection, specifically the Focus Gallery Collection, Helen Johnston Bequest, this exhibition examines works of photography that defy clarity through abstracted compositions and subjects, and to celebrate the visionary woman (Helen Johnston) who saw the potential in these artists and the medium of photography.
These works require us to take time with them, to actively look and decipher. The photographs do not allow us to quickly look and comprehend. Some compositions tease us in their abstractions of objects and materials to a degree that renders the subject almost incomprehensible. Other pieces focus or divert our attention through unusual cropping choices. In a few images, photographic processes alter what we see versus what we imagine must be reality. Unexpected discoveries abound in the world around us. We can find beauty and mystery in the lines of peeling paint or cracked earth. Joy and whimsy may reside in the curvature of a heating duct. And through this exhibition, perhaps we can gain a moment of peace with the collective pause we are all being asked to practice.
Image credits for this listing:
Brett Weston, Untitled, 1954, gelatin silver print, de Saisset Museum permanent collection, Santa Clara University, Focus Gallery Collection, Helen Johnston Bequest, 6.60.1989