Under the Influence of Water

Brad Temkin and Joseph D. Jachna

After he first saw Joseph Jachna’s photographs of water in the 1970s, Brad Temkin was so taken by their humble nature that he knew he wanted to study with him. Shortly thereafter he enrolled in the MFA program at the University of Illinois, Chicago where Joe was heading the program.  The two remained friends throughout their careers, crossing paths often, with a mutual-appreciation of one another’s work. But it wasn’t until a several years after Jachna passed away, that by chance, Temkin began to re-explore his teacher’s enduring muse—water.

For Joseph Jachna Water was quintessential.  He mastered the art of capturing the intangible, sacredness of water. He used the yin and yang of tonality to structure his images of abstract or micro-vignettes, out of context but whole, into complete and somber poems about the gracefulness of liquid. Often alluding to life and balance, he utilized the delicate interplay between rock and water to emphasize these opposing forces as separate but codependent. Without rock, water holds no form, and without flow – rock cannot be; a true reflection on the state-of-being.

For Temkin, it is our dependence on water that is inescapable. He illustrates the great lengths we must go through to procure it. His latest project tells the whole story, from start to finish of Muholland’s infamous Los Angeles Aqueduct. A blatant and human attempt at wresting nature to our will—one that at times, had grave consequences and continues to challenge us to this day. As the city grows, so too does its needs, and so does the aqueduct. Temkin captures sweeping vistas of the alien aqueduct as its pipes unravel through the deserted landscape. Combined with abstracted aerial views weaving textures of blue in tan surrounds as water becomes the both ultimate subject and sustaining life-force.

We hope that you can visit this exhibition where the interplay between these two artist’s photographs heighten and inform— revealing the beauty and grace of our most valuable resource.