With a rigorous and encompassing approach to his medium, Joseph Sterling produced a body of photographs including street reportage, coolly modern compositions, and surrealist experimentations. Inspired by Robert Frank’s “The Americans” (1959), Henri Cartier-Bresson’s notion of the “decisive moment,” and his teachers at the Chicago Institute of Design, Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind, Sterling shot from the heart, with a keenly honed sense of design and composition. He completed his first and best-known body of work, “The Age of Adolescence” (1959-64) while still a student. At once tender and dark, it chronicles American youth culture in the flush postwar period in penetrating, artful images. Sterling moved with ease between photographic extremes: he took formal, studied photographs for commercial, industrial, and corporate clients, while pushing photography to the edge of legibility through his explorations of distortion, angle, and view.