We’ve had a wonderful week at EXPO CHICAGO and we’re thrilled to welcome those of you who haven’t visited the fair yet! We are exhibiting ten amazing artists, seven of which live and work in the Midwest: Jess T. Dugan, Terry Evans, Michael Koerner, and Garrett O. Hansen to name a few. Today, we continuing to cover our featured artists, including midwest-based Elizabeth Ernst, Pete Jacobs, and Gregory Scott, as well as Brooklyn based duo Lori Nix / Kathleen Gerber and Italian photographer, Francesco Pergolesi.
For more than 12 years, Elizabeth Ernst has created art about the people and entertainers affiliated with the G.E. Circus, a small family owned circus of aging performers. Over the years we’ve seen them pose for the camera in their fanciful outfits, relax backstage playing cards, apply makeup in their dressing room mirrors, and perform for enthusiastic audiences. Through intimate detailed images, we’ve witnessed their joys and fears, as the glory days of the travelling circus began to fade.
Elizabeth Ernst is a professor emeritus at Columbia College Chicago, where she taught for 25 years. She is the recipient of numerous Illinois Arts Council Fellowships in Photography, and two Faculty Development Grants from Columbia College. Her work has been exhibited nationally and was recently featured at the Mimi and Ian Rolland Art Center, University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, IN. Elizabeth Ernst lives and works in Chicago.
Pete Jacobs lives and works in Chicago. Born and raised in New Haven, CT, he attended Wesleyan University, graduating with a B.A. in English Literature. A published poet, he has received, among other awards, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. In recent years, his drive to experiment and innovate has steered his interests towards the visual arts.
As a photographic conceptual artist and a painter, he often portrays a vulnerable humanism. His multi-panel Tableaux series transforms the worldly—a tightrope walker, a laughing woman, a collection of prosthetic eyes, a text statement on unrequited love—into strange and illuminating melding of expressionistic color fields with ghostly underlying imagery.
In these visual narratives, the viewer experiences both a sense of fracturing into parts and a coming together as a whole. As with chapters in an unfolding story, the eye lingers on the contents of one panel and then is drawn on to the next in a progression of hue gradients and the linking up of the image. A tension hovers in this attempt at unity never fully realized due to the spatial separation of the individual panels.
Lori Nix / Kathleen Gerber
Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber were both born in the Midwest, in areas known for tornados, snowstorms and droughts. As children, these natural disasters became their playground and influenced their first collaborative series, The City. Apocalyptic in nature, this series imagined an interior world without people, with Mother Nature reclaiming her land abused by mankind.
In their newest series, Empire,the duo (now working under the moniker Lori Nix / Kathleen Gerber) depict exterior spaces baring the scars of climate change and unexplained disasters. Working in their home/studio, Nix and Gerber transform cardboard, foam, glue and paint into small dioramas that are photographed with an 8 x 10 camera. Often taking up to several months to complete, these large scale models of everyday places – a highway overpass, newspaper boxes on a sidewalk, sink holes in an urban city – fall victim to decay, referencing the effects of pollution and challenging our perceptions of reality, and our responsibilities within it. As they explain:
“Because the work features a model and not a real place, it creates a safe space to think about larger ideas of disaster. Devoid of people, these spaces become meditative and full of possibilities. Landscapes are more than a visual record of an environment. They also capture the emotional, sometimes spiritual, essence of a place. Empirepresents a world transformed by climate uncertainty and a shifting social order as it stumbles towards a new kind of frontier. These places are eerily beautiful but also unsettling in their stillness and silence. Long ago, man entered the landscape and forced nature to his will. Once grand and emblematic of strength and prosperity, these landscapes now appear abused and in decay, and it is uncertain how they will continue to (d)evolve.”
Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber have exhibited their works extensively in Europe and the United States and are in numerous public collections including the Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, TX), The International Museum of Photography at George Eastman Museum (Rochester, NY), The Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, DC), Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas (Lawrence, KA), Harvard Business School, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), among others. Lori Nix is the recipient of many grants including a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow in photography.
Francesco Pergolesi was born in Venice in 1975. After finishing his law degree, dedicated himself entirely to photography. He is an artist-photographer whose work explores the territory of memory. Every single shot from his series Heroes is a kind of a theater scene. His subjects are revealed in the lights and shadows reminiscent of Flemish paintings. He lives and works between Spoleto, Rome and Barcelona.
“Tableaux is a project dedicated to the worktables of artists and artisans… Every table is a canvas generated unconsciously, thanks to the traces of daily work. The material is the tangible representation of memory… every detail becomes magnified, emphasizing the worth and uniqueness of the artisan’s work. The worktable is a reliable place, an esoteric shelter where day after day, year after year, generations repeat skillful gestures, generating ideas and solutions. It is a place where one puts together and transforms materials.”
Gregory Scott has always blurred the lines between painting and photography, incorporating paintings he did of himself, or his body, back into his photographs. The resulting images were both humorous and odd, challenging the viewer’s perception of photographic truth. Then, at the age of 49, Scott decided to go to graduate school to strengthen his knowledge of art history and video making. Having successfully merged his love of painting and photographs, his interest turned to video and its ability to move and manipulate still images.
Continuing to use himself as the model, Scott creates narrative pieces which use illusion and surprise to tackle issues ranging from identity and loneliness, to the way the art world has pigeonholed the various mediums in which he works. In his pieces, Scott challenges the definitions placed on photography, painting and video, expanding its discourse.
Gregory Scott’s newest piece, “Rothko Chapel, 2018,” is based on the space in which the painter’s 14 murals are installed in Houston, Texas. As many people know, photography is not permitted inside the chapel, but that did not stop Gregory. As a former model maker, he painstakingly built the chapel in his studio, creating his own access to its interior. The 6 minute video explores the experience of being inside the chapel, where meditation takes over, dreaming is encouraged, and the mind is free to imagine.
Catherine Edelman Gallery at EXPO CHICAGO 2018
600 E Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
|Sunday, September 30||11:00 am – 6:00 pm|
@edelmangallery @expochicago #expoartweek #expochicago2018