One of the most gifted and accomplished street photographers still plying the trade, Susan Aurinko exploits the possibilities of such subjects as multi-layered peeling wall posters and mannequins shot through shop windows to produce intriguing complex images—mainly in traditional black and white—that finely balance the aesthetic power of abstraction with political and cultural meaning. Whereas most wall and window photographers today go for bold color that heightens hype and emotion, Aurinko’s studies are muted and nuanced, making us explore details that escape us in ordinary perception, and impelling us into a meditative mood. Aurinko demonstrates that she can also be thoroughly postmodern with two digital color prints depicting advertising posters of sultry insouciant women that are suffused with reflections from the street. Here she also strikes a balance, this time between her native subtlety and the assertiveness of her medium. Whatever Aurinko does, there is always a play of opposites expressed in layered involvement. (Michael Weinstein)
Through April 15 at the Chicago Photography Center, 3301 N. Lincoln
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