Joseph Jachna
No title, 1975

13.5 in H x 10.5 in W
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About the Artist

Joseph Jachna

DiedApril 2016
BirthplaceChicago, IL
CitizenshipUnited States
Cultural HeritageEuropean-American
Light Work RelationshipCommunity Darkrooms Member, 1973 – 1975
Light Work Gallery, 1975
Workshop, 1975
Lecturer, 1975


Some music seems parallel to my work; my strongest counterpart being that of Anton Webern. I found in his carefully calculated, minimal notations some similarities to my own desire to reduce the number of elements within a picture to very few. These comments will most obviously apply to work more than three years old -- the rocks, water, ice and snow -- but possibly there are traces of those inclinations in the newest work which was done with an extremely wide-angle lens.

The water images become something of their own. They are more than I recorded. They have a quality of abstraction which permits them to enter into another world, a world which I am helpless to do anything about but to follow. And in doing it, what gets constructed is a picture that my imagination cannot create, because it comes from deeper down. I like to see those things. They just happen to me, and to me those are the high points in my whole photographic production. Things come together in a way. They just work out on their own terms. I don't have to be responsible for every aspect of the picture. I just have to do a part, my part, and let the rest go.

When I started, I thought I made the photographs about water, but not when I ended. I realized the water was just subject matter, or material. It was a strong enough material that I could follow my own purposes through it, and it would hold up by itself.'

Joseph Jachna 1964

Joseph Jackna has studied with both Aaron Siskind and Harry Callahan and is a graduate of the Institute of Design in Chicago. He has exhibited widely and has worked in commercial photography.