On Site: William Wylie – “Still Water”, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, NYC

In Books, Exhibits, Gallery on April 2, 2010 at 8:47 am

William Wylie from the “Still Water” series; monograph: Nazraeli Press

We recently made an unscheduled stop in Chelsea at the handsome Jenkins Johnson Gallery and caught one of the last few days in the run of the William Wylie exhibit “Still Water”. Sometimes serendipity rewards the viewer with an uncommon surprise.

The exhibit contains multiple images of just what the title indicates … still water. But this is not just another “babbling brook” experience. This is an invitation to a different level of visual contemplation that is not often reached with photographs of this genre. Walking through the gallery you find yourself drawn to view and re-view the delicate images that capture water and light in a new and absorbing way. Artists often try to bring the viewer into a Zen like state … Wylie achieves it.

The almost metallic reflection of the water surface is achieved through masterful implementation of tonal rendering. The images translated to computer replicas cannot do justice to the print artifacts Wylie has created. You must visit in person to see “the real thing”.

William Wylie’s stunning silver gelatin photographs featured in Stills were made along a stretch of the Cache la Poudre River in Fort Collins, Colorado between 1997 and 2001. Wylie’s subject descends from the Rocky Mountain National Forest and flows untamed through the Colorado landscape until the Poudre weaves through Fort Collins, where it becomes a marginalized wilderness. For the five miles the river flows through the city, it is frequently seen through the development – glimpses of the river from the highway or the shopping mall, from parking lots or apartment fire escapes. In many places concrete constrains the river. Yet Wylie’s photographs hone in on the tranquility and the raw beauty of the river, almost entirely removing the water from its surroundings.

Alyssa Menegat, the gallery manager, has just notified us the exhibition has been extended until April 17. Go this weekend, for a pleasurable experience.

Note: Also available is a very well done catalog, published by Nazraeli.

For more information: William Wylie

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