New York

Jan Staller

Soho Center For Visual Artists

Color photographer Jan Staller should also be mentioned for his West Side Highway series. The truth is that the subject Staller has chosen—the elevated portions of the roadway now being demolished—has a potential he has only begun to discover. For the highway is such a dramatic subject that it is realized effectively only when it is treated as a vantage point and not as the subject at all. Only when the abandoned highway appears to be an incidental part of the picture does it have the impact Steller wants it to have. In his best shot, old commercial facades are seen out on West Street in the sunlight, while the highway sits before us deep in shadow and flooded with water. The picture looks as if it might have been taken from a boat which was rowing past a sunken city on a lost continent. It’s a moody, compelling photograph,and almost the only one Staller included that really takes advantage of the rich dualism the highway offers him.

Colin L. Westerbeck, Jr.