by Angie Kordic

Barbara Vaughn | Pyrgi, 2015 | Archival pigment print, ed. of 5 | 50 x 80 inches

After the amazing Jaq Chartier exhibition, currently on view, the Dolby Chadwick Gallery will be ready host another show worth visiting – the one of Barbara Vaughn, entitled On the Surface. A series of new works by the photographer capture the surface reflections on different bodies of water found all around the world, in a splendid mix of shapes, colors and distorted visions. By documenting pure reality, Barbara Vaughn evokes abstract ideas, inspired by art movements such as Impressionism and Cubism.

Barbara Vaughn | Pikilia 2, 2014 | Archival pigment print | 25 x 60 inches

Barbara Vaughn’s (Sur)Reality

For her second show at Dolby Chadwick Gallery, Barbara Vaughn brings in her trademark imagery of mirrored scenery. This former portrait photographer turned to more natural topics, creating a world of warped pictures and vivid imagination. Her portion of water reflections easily reveal themselves, but the viewer has a hard time seeing through them. Even though they reflect their surrounding landscape, it is very difficult to put a finger on it, as patterns, shapes, colors, curves and grids take over. Looking very much like abstract paintings, they couldn’t be more real at the same time, an effect which resulted from carefully chosen framing, the amount of light, the water movements and of course subjects. These two elements of urban landscape interact in the most mesmerizing way, drawing attention to something beautiful that we otherwise would have missed seeing ourselves.

Barbara Vaughn | Left: Oneira, 2012; Right: Aniexi, 2014 | Both archival pigment prints | Left: 50 x 40 inches; Right: 56 x 42 inches

The Biomorphism of Cities

Inspired by water’s stunning characteristics, Barbara Vaughn references both contemporary and modern art through her photography. Evoking famous works by Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso of Fernand Léger, but also creations of graphic design, Minimal art and Abstract art, the images like Apokopes 1 and Apokopes 2 are both influenced by the French postmodernist’s recent landmark exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The works collect the glossy water surfaces located in places like Bruges, Amsterdam’s canals, Martha’s Vineyard or Los Angeles. The Apokopes works originated in Greece, on the Cycladic islands of Paros. Depending on the richness of these places, the photographs go from black and white to saturated colors, from very little detail to complete abundance of it, offering a different look at nature and the infrastructures of cities through their voluptuous forms.

Barbara Vaughn | Katartia 7, 2014 | Archival pigment print, ed. of 5 | 34 x 90 inches

On the Surface at Dolby Chadwick Gallery

Barbara Vaughn was born in Philadelphia. She finished Princeton University and the noted International Center of Photography in New York City, where she studied fine art photography. Her work has been published in numerous books as well as publications such as The New York Times, Time, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Art in America. Her fine art photography has been exhibited in galleries across the United States. Catch Barbara Vaughn – On the Surface show at San Francisco’s Dolby Chadwick Gallery between May 7th and 30th, 2015. The opening will be held on May 7th from 5.30 till 7.30pm.

Barbara Vaughn | Left: Metropolis, 2011; Right: Griphos, 2012 | Both archival pigment prints | Left: 63 x 42 inches; Right: 72 x 58 inches 

Barbara Vaughn | Anemos, 2014 | Archival pigment print, ed. of 5 | 36 x 88 inches

Barbara Vaughn | Ampeli 2, 2015 | Archival pigment print, ed. of 5 | 40 x 86 inches

Barbara Vaughn | Ampeli, 2015 | Archival pigment print, ed. of 5 | 32 x 58 inches

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