Home, 1996 (detail)

William Jaeger’s black-and-white photographs, apparently mundane details of nature and the man-made world are converted into lush discoveries of surface and detail that tend to belie their unassuming identities. He seems interested in presenting us with something that is not immediately recognizable, but which becomes familiar in stages. Compositionally, these photographs maintain a taut, even dramatic, internal balance, but they are also surprisingly emotive in the way they disguise a hidden order behind depictions of a world that seems to have become less stable as man has exerted his will upon it. In Billows, Catskill Bridge, for example, an inexplicable sense of danger envelops the otherwise serene vista of a stereotypical meeting between man and nature. In Mummy Museum, the image of a single mummy has been shot from an angle that exaggerates the impression of agonized suffering which we typically attach to subjects that seem exotic or unfamiliar to us.

(excerpt from Dan Cameron's catalog essay, click to see full text)