Ctrl+P: Photography taken offline – Leigh Merrill

We are excited to feature the work of Leigh Merrill as the next Ctrl+P: Photography Taken Offline artist. Merrill’s photographs and videos will be on view September 9 – October 29, 2016!

Leigh Merrill’s work examines the construction of desire, fiction and beauty in our urban landscapes. The subjects in Merrill’s photographs are often created from ubiquitous objects and architecture. Familiar elements such as the lawn, manicured and manipulated plants, new buildings mimicking other eras and locations, often reveal a culture of perpetual longing. Elements of our constructed environments simulate, or reference other places and histories acting as evidence of desire. Merrill often mixes together the real and the fake in her work to create images of places and objects that challenge our expectations or reveal the simulacrum in our environments.

White Street, 2009
White Street, 2009

Merrill’s process begins by making thousands of individual photographs, videos, and audio recordings while exploring a city or neighborhood. In the studio, she then digitally assembles these sources to create photographs and videos of imaginary spaces. Some of the images have some veracity, but more often they suggest a visual hyperbole – an embellished scene circulating around a small detail or object that fascinated her. These composite images function as a metaphor to the ways in which desire and control is physically constructed in the landscape.

Lemmon at Mahanna Street, 2012 (still from video)
Lemmon at Mahanna Street, 2012 (still from video)

Leigh Merrill received her BFA from the University of New Mexico and her MFA from Mills College (Oakland, CA). Merrill’s work has been a part of exhibitions throughout the United States in venues such as the Phoenix Art Museum, the diRosa Art Preserve, The Lawndale Art Center, the Tremaine Gallery, Fotofest International, and the Museum of Texas Tech University. Merrill’s work has been included in online and print publications such as the Design Observer/Places Journal, Dwell.com, BLDGBLOG blog, PaperCity Magazine, and the Washington Post. Her work is part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Texas Tech University, the City of Phoenix, the California Institute of Integral Studies, as well as various private collections. Merrill currently lives and works in Dallas, Texas, where she is an Assistant Professor of Art at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Leigh Merrill website
Places Journal


Ctrl+P: Photography taken offline is an exciting venture at Catherine Edelman Gallery inspired by the hundreds of photographs we see on blogs and online galleries. Started in January 2011, CEG introduces Chicagoans to new artists we find while searching the web, exhibiting a small selection of one person’s work every two months, taking the pictures offline and putting them on the wall. It is our goal that Ctrl+P will provide further exposure for these photographers away from the glow of a computer monitor and without the temptation to click to the next link. We hope you will join us by unplugging from the internet and visiting CEG to see these photographs the way they were intended — in print.