Ever pursuing the classical modernist black-and-white straight photographic abstraction, and always breaking new paths, overcoming self-imposed challenges, and adding complexities to his images with each successive series, Paul Clark now stands on his highest ground by venturing into the surreal. Having experimented with shooting through barriers such as construction webbing, chain-link fences, and screening, Clark takes the layered look a step further by shifting his focus to what lies beyond the veil with intense and compelling effect. In a scene from a grim fairy tale, Clark has taken advantage of the nuanced interplay of light and shadow to show us, through deformed plastic webbing, a shimmering and gleaming white house backgrounded by a black semi-circle. Taking layering to its most concentrated extremities, Clark shot through a chain-link fence in front of torn and flapping construction fabric, behind which webbing had been erected; the result is an exceedingly complex image that integrates a visual force field of innumerable textures, intricate designs and bold chiaroscuro into shapes reminiscent of ancient pyramids. Having eschewed representational content in the recent past, Clark has now made himself its master. (Michael Weinstein)
Through July 23 at The Architrouve, 1433 West Chicago.