Jim Ferguson joins the Chicago Project!

We are excited to present the work of our newest Chicago Project artist, Jim Ferguson!

Reconstructed Space 2, 1986
Reconstructed Space 2, 1986 © Jim Ferguson

About Jim: “I like to classify myself not as an emerging artist but as a reemerging artist. I have a BFA from San Francisco Art Institute and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. After getting my BFA, I started showing and selling my work. As a result of this effort my work is in the collections of the Dallas Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum, Museo Nacional de Antropologia- Mexico, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, and numerous private collections. I am also included in the Macmillian Encyclopedia of Photographic Artists and Innovators. I took an extended leave of absence from showing but not photographing.  Now I’m reemerging into the fine art photography scene.”

Reconstructed Space 3, 2008
Reconstructed Space 3, 2008 © Jim Ferguson

Reconstructed Space

Reconstructed Space is a portfolio made up of abstract landscape images taken in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the U.S. My intent was to share the hidden realities I see with my altered sense of depth perception.

Born cross-eyed, corrective surgery left me with no depth perception. I developed a different way of seeing things, measuring spaces, layers and distances that I use in my photography. It is this vision I share with my viewers.

Reconstructed Space 5, 1986
Reconstructed Space 5, 1986 © Jim Ferguson

Once I select a scene, I deconstruct then reconstruct the scene to show the viewer my take on the place, often creating an unfamiliar and potentially a disorienting depiction. I sometimes reinterpret a space by flattening and compressing layers of the various elements in the image.

I emphasize light, shadow, form and movement, in an effort to depict my personal perspective. By purposefully avoiding people and turning off color in my images I am able to produce a cleaner, stronger, more abstract photograph that brings out the graphic nature and textural elements in the shot.

Reconstructed Space 9, 2014
Reconstructed Space 9, 2014 © Jim Ferguson

Most of my photographs are taken outside the U.S., often in familiar locations. However, in my reconstructed images the locations become ambiguous. The scenes can be elusive. There is normally something, or enough in the image, that allows the viewer to define the image for themselves…to pull them into my work. I don’t care where they land as long as it’s a thoughtful landing. This allows the viewer to be part of the act of creation.

While often drawn to historical settings such as Medieval and Colonial towns and archaeological sites, I don’t feel obligated photographically to illustrate the preceding history, but to transform the place into powerful images that are both enigmatic and engaging.

Reconstructed Space 20, 2014
Reconstructed Space 20, 2014 © Jim Ferguson


The Chicago Project is an online gallery initiative by Catherine Edelman Gallery, devoted to new and established photographers in the Chicago area, who we feel deserve recognition. It is our hope to expose local talent to a wider audience and we plan on adding photographers as we find them. If you are interested in learning more about the Chicago Project or would like information on how to submit, click HERE.


Ctrl+P: Photography taken offline – Nakeya Brown

We are excited to present our newest Ctrl+P artist Nakeya Brown. Photographs from two of her series, Hair Stories Untold and If Nostalgia Were Colored Brown, will be on view through December 30, 2017.

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The Art of Drying, 2014 © Nakeya Brown


Nakeya On Hair Politics
“I use photography as a tool to extract and redefine the symbols of femininity. My practice centers itself on black female subjectivity, black beauty, and often uses hair as an apparatus to identify facets of womanhood. I utilize time-specific effects that have racialized, commodified, and cultural relevance in relationship to black women’s bodies and lived experiences. The shower cap, the hot comb, vinyl records depicting images of iconic African-American songstresses, the perm kit, and hair dryers are just a few of the articles I photograph to entwine the materiality of the world with identity formation.”


Hair Stories Untold visualizes the unknown methodologies prevalent within to black feminine hair culture. Each photograph reveals a unique form of self-grooming that poses a beautification process which is both fraught and notable in our memory. Such acts of hair manipulation transform the modes in which personhood can be realized. Within it shared experience, remembrance, and material entities reflect a sense of identity.

Lovin’, Livin’ & Givin’, 2014 © Nakeya Brown

If Nostalgia Were Colored Brown utilizes objects associated with home life and beautification processes as building blocks in constructing identity and black feminine spaces of self-care. Each tableaux is a site where memoirs, intimacy, womanhood, culture, and blackness converge in order to cultivate a sense of nostalgia. Iconic imagery of Diana Ross, Minnie Riperton, Stephanie Mills, Deniece Williams, Natalie Cole, LaBelle, and Melba Moore display the commercial potency of black women’s bodies in popular culture.

Nakeya Brown was born in Santa Maria, California in 1988. She received her BA in Visual Arts and Journalism & Media Studies from Rutgers University and her Master of Fine Arts from The George Washington University. Her photography has been exhibited at the McKenna Museum of African American Art, Woman Made Gallery, Hamiltonian Gallery, and The Urban Institute for Contemporary Art. Brown’s work has been featured in New York Mag, Dazed & Confused, The Fader, TIME, and Vice. Her work has been included in photography books Babe and Girl on Girl: Art and Photography in the Age of the Female Gaze. Brown was awarded the 2017 Snider Prize by the Museum of Contemporary Photography. She currently lives and works in Washington, D.C with her 5 year-old daughter, Mia.


Nakeya’s website
Dazed Digital
The Cut
The New York Times
The Washington Post

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.

Bettina von Zwehl: Portraits opens tonight!

December 1 marks our 30-year anniversary of the gallery. The gallery was established as a place to showcase new talent alongside well-known photographers. To celebrate this milestone, we are thrilled to debut the miniature portraits of London based photographer Bettina von Zwehl in her solo exhibition, Portraits. The show opens November 3 and runs through December 30, 2017.

The opening reception is tonight, Friday, November 3, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Tallulah and Jasmine, 2015
Tallulah and Jasmine, 2015 © Bettina von Zwehl

The history of miniature paintings can be dated as far back as the 16th century when wealthy Europeans commissioned their likeness for their loved ones or as a means of marital introductions. Originally made in gouache, watercolor or enamel, miniatures found a more utilitarian use with the invention of the daguerreotype and then ultimately the tintype. In today’s digital age of photography, with more and more artists printing billboard sized prints, Bettina von Zwehl is among a growing number of practitioners looking to the past to create powerful, intimate portraits, in a 7 x 5” or smaller format.

Portraits features several bodies of work which all address the formal portrait, presented in oval, round or arched frames. Von Zwehl taps into historical iconography, staging scenarios reminiscent of allegorical paintings. In Tallulah and Jasmine, a young girl stares at the camera holding a dead fish; in Sari (Lampropeltis Triangulum Nelsoni), an adolescent girl confronts the viewer with a milk snake wrapped around her neck; in her series Made Up Love Song, we see a woman in profile, photographed in the same position over the course of six months; The Sessions presents silhouetted portraits of a young girl printed on photographic paper which is then torn, suggesting the fragility of youth; and in her latest series Dog Portraits, pugs, terriers, and all breeds of dogs are elevated to a regal status normally affiliated with royalty. Whether photographing young girls, women, or canines, von Zwehl honors the past, creating an intimacy often lacking in art making today.

Jenson I, 2017
Jenson I, 2017 © Bettina von Zwehl

Bettina von Zwehl was born in Munich, Germany (1971) and currently lives in London. She received her MA from the Royal College of Art (London) in 1999. Her ongoing pre-occupation with the miniature was inspired by her six month Artist in Residence at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2011. Solo exhibitions of her work have been held at a number of leading European and American museums and galleries including the Sigmund Freud Museum (Vienna, 2016) Freud Museum (London, 2016), Fotogaleriet (Oslo, 2014), National Portrait Gallery (London, 2014), Centrum Kultury Zamek (Poznan, 2011), Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood (London, 2009) and The Photographers Gallery (London, 2005). Her photographs are held in various collections including The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York, NY), Mint Museum (Charlotte, NC), Victoria and Albert Museum (London, England), The National Portrait Gallery (London, England), The Rubell Family Collection (Miami, FL) and Pier 24 Photography (San Francisco, CA).

See the entire exhibition on our website here.

Liat Elbling answers James Lipton’s 10 Questions

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Have you watched Inside the Actor’s Studio with James Lipton? In this popular TV show, James Lipton interviews legendary guests. The conversations always end with his famous list of ten questions. Over the years, CEG has asked our artists these same ten questions to gain insight into their personalities and work. This week Liat Elbling answers James Lipton’s Top Ten!

1. What is your favorite word?


2. What is your least favorite word?


3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

sun, love, yoga, music, cats

4. What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

crises, pressure, constraints, fanatics

5. What sound or noise do you love?

receiving a text message

6. What sound or noise do you hate?

ambulance, car accident

7. What is your favorite curse word?

Kus Emek (Arabic)

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?


9. What profession would you not like to do?


10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Hello dear, it all was a dream, this is real life…

Proposals for Disorder runs through October 28, 2017.
See the entire exhibition on our website here

New Work by Julie Blackmon!

We are excited to share three new images by Julie Blackmon!

South & Pershing St., 2017
South and Pershing St., 2017 © Julie Blackmon

Those familiar with Julie’s work will recognize the Midwest scenery as well as her children, siblings’ children, and the children of friends and neighbors. Blackmon, herself the oldest of nine children, balances her role as a mother of three and an artist, referencing family life and the circumstances it creates. Chaos, disorder, fantasies, social gatherings, game playing, all of these scenarios continue to dominate Blackmon’s work, which we first witnessed in her series, Domestic Vacations (Radius Books, 2009). Elegance, triumphs, dangers and solace mix with fantasy, where nothing is quite as it seems. Like Alice in her wonderland, Blackmon’s children appear in reality and fantasy, engrossed in their fictitious worlds.

Weeds, 2017
Weeds, 2017 © Julie Blackmon

Influenced by Jan Steen and 17th c. Dutch paintings, Blackmon also credits Edward Gorey, Tim Burton and Federico Fellini, who stated, “the things that are most real to me are the ones that I invented… even lies are interesting, eloquent and revealing, just as much as what is considered the truth.” By looking at her family through the lens of fiction, Blackmon reveals her own truth and one that seems to resonate with audiences’ worldwide.

Sidewalk, 2017
Sidewalk, 2017 © Julie Blackmon

Since 2005, Julie Blackmon has received overwhelming critical acclaim. Her works are part of numerous collections, including The Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, TX), George Eastman House International Museum of Photography (Rochester, NY), Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, MO), Columbus Museum of Art (Columbus, OH), Cleveland Museum of Art and The Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, IL). Her newest book Homegrown is available from Radius Books.

All images, from 2016 to present, are available as 22 x 29″, 32 x 42″ and 40 x 53″ pigments prints made in editions of 10, 7 and 5, respectively. Pieces range in price from $4000 to $15,000, depending on size and availability.

Artist Talk with Liat Elbling!

In an attempt to understand why artists create the work they make, we decided to launch Artist Talk in September of 2008, a video series which allows the viewer to hear, from the artist, the reasons behind making each piece on view. In our latest installment, Catherine sits down with Liat Elbling, on the opening day of her first American solo-show, Proposals for Disorder.

In the video, Liat explains her process, discusses life in Tel Aviv, and makes a reference to this Bulgarian cheese:

© Gad Dairy

Watch our Vimeo channel for future talks, and feel free to share this video elsewhere. We love making these Artist Talks and when you share them, you help us to keep making new ones!


New “Heroes” by Francesco Pergolesi

After a busy summer for the artist, Francesco Pergolesi has released new images from his series Heroes. Each of the photographs in this series reference a character from paintings, literature, film, and the artist’s own memories. Thus, the titles are not actually his sitters’ names: “I always work with the real elements present in the locations, the subject in the portrait is the real owner, I absolutely leave intact the essence and the history of the shop, but I make a sort of meta-dialog between the reality and my memory to create a new atmosphere.”

Bonfé, Barcelona, 2017
Bonfé, Barcelona, 2017 © Francesco Pergolesi

Francesco Pergolesi was raised in Spoleto, a small Italian village filled with artisan shops and small businesses. Splitting his time between Spoleto and Barcelona, Pergolesi creates photographic tableaus inspired by memories from his past: narrow cobblestone streets, the sound of a hammer coming from the open door of a shoemaker; the smell of fresh bread from a baker, the steady beat of a sewing machine from an open window, the smell of old paper in a used bookstore. In Pergolesi’s world, these sights and smells drive his art making, as he seeks to preserve the past, before big-box and chain stores arrive.  As he says:

“When I was a child, I used to walk free, exploring my village streets. I loved to spend time in the little cobbler or the grocery where my grandmother sent me to shop. Time seemed to be extended and gave me a sense of freedom. I grew up loving neighborhoods where human relationships were the center of life. I understood these places were disappearing, pushed by a mysterious force, and a new era was coming.”

Delia, Roma, 2016
Delia, Roma, 2016 © Francesco Pergolesi

Delia was the flower shop owner in Spoleto, where I went when I was a child to buy flowers for my mom, and after for my girlfriends…”

Fausto, Barcelona, 2016
Fausto, Barcelona, 2016 © Francesco Pergolesi
Murphy, Barcelona, 2016
Murphy, Barcelona, 2016 © Francesco Pergolesi

Murphy is [in reference to] the actor Alex Murphy in the 1987 Robocop movie.”

Francesco Pergolesi sees himself as a guardian of a vanishing world where people congregated to talk about families and daily activities. The artist presents his work as traditional photographic prints and as 5 x 7 x 2” / 9 x 12 x 3” photo boxes, lit from within. These small pieces force the viewer to stand inches away, creating an intimate interaction with strangers – it is what inspires Pergolesi every day, as he continues to wander the streets looking for a connection.

Niki, Spoleto, 2016
Niki, Spoleto, 2016 © Francesco Pergolesi
Pio, Torino, 2017
Pio, Torino, 2017 © Francesco Pergolesi

Francesco’s images made 2016-present are available as 4 x 6″ or 10 x 15″ pigment print mounted to plexi, framed and backlit with LED light and 23½ x 35½” pigment print in an editions of 7 + 2 AP’s and 3 + 2 AP’s, respectively. Pieces range in price from $1500 – $4000, depending on size and availability. You can see the entire Heroes series on our website here.