Founded in Chicago in 1929, the Hedrich Blessing architectural photography firm revolutionized the genre by incorporating the most advanced forms of modernist photography to capture—in a perfect fit—the magnificent Art Deco buildings that were rising in the decades between the two world wars. Curator David Jameson has chosen for this alluring exhibition images from the 1930s—taken mainly by founder Ken Hedrich—of elegant and imposing interiors that often work as abstractions that stand alone, apart from any commercial motive. A master of chiaroscuro and composition, Hedrich transcended the document, adding a photographic aesthetic to the sleek yet complex forms that he found before his lens. In the banner image of the show, Hedrich transforms the St. Paul County Court House into a spectacular cathedral that dissolves into ribbons of bright white light and deep black shadow; only a tiny minimalist clock at the bottom center of the image reminds us that we are not in judicial heaven. (Michael Weinstein)
Hedrich Blessing, “Interiors: Architectural Photography of the 1930s,” shows at Architech Gallery through March 8.