Happy Holidays from CEG!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend filled with good food, family and friends!

Deer With Pomegranates, 1993 © Olivia Parker

CEG will be closed Tuesday, December 26 and will be open with regular business hours Wednesday, December 27. Our current exhibition, Bettina von Zwehl: Portraits, runs through December 30th!

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Laurent Millet: Somnium opens Friday!

We are delighted to present the first Chicago exhibition for French photographer Laurent Millet, whose photography combines the inquisitiveness of a scientist with the wonder of a child. We will present four different bodies of work that examines his ongoing fascination between the real and the imagined, and our relationship with objects. Somnium opens March 3 and runs through April 29, 2017.

There will be an opening reception on Friday, March 3 from 5:00-7:00 pm.
The artist will be present.

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There is a rich history of artists constructing environments simply to be photographed and then disassembled. These created realities were prevalent in the 1980s, as works by Sandy Skoglund, Bernard Faucon, Bruce Charlesworth, James Welling and other artists burst onto the scene. All of these artists worked with objects to create a narrative, captured by the camera. Laurent Millet (b. 1968 France) continues to work in this tradition, using various 19th c. printing techniques to magnify his vision.

As he stated in a 2014 interview in L’Oeil de la Photographie: “I felt like I had to take refuge in something that was comforting and reassuring… This idea brought me back to what I did as a child in the countryside when I would play with wood and stones. I rediscovered that pleasure as an adult… Starting with the first things I built, fishing machines, I felt like a world was opening up in which I could really exist. These objects are powered by my personal fictions, my dream of another life. The photograph is proof of that, a record of the moment, a reward.”

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For more than twenty years, Laurent Millet has channeled his innate curiosity to create photographs that question the way objects appear within space and time. Citing R. Buckminster Fuller and Denis Diderot among his influences, Millet creates an artistic vocabulary through metal wire, vineyard posts and barrel hoops – objects prevalent in the coastal town of France in which he resides. His 1997 series, Petites Machines Littorales, addressed his surroundings, as he transformed the sea into a place for scientific experimentation, creating contraptions that suggest a way to measure water or listen to fish. These “machines” invite curiosity and questions, much like a child experimenting in a science lab. In his 2000 series Les Cabanes, Millet continues to build structures in the water, yet this time they appear to be bridges, ladders, architectural pieces and fences, suggesting a relationship between water and sky. The 2002 series, La Chasse, features objects that could be used to trap, to capture that which is hard to contain. And finally, in the 2014/15 series, Somnium, the artist photographed himself with geometric objects, polyhedra, that he fabricated. These images seem paranormal yet familiar, as the artist engages with objects hovering in the air, recording his encounter.

His work can be seen in numerous publications including his 2014 book, Les Enfantillages Pittoresques (Filigranes Editions) and in major museum collections, including The Art Institute of Chicago, Maison Européenne de la Photographie (Paris), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Fonds National d’art Contemporain (Paris), among others.

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Visit CEG’s website to see all the images in the exhibition!

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New Heroes by Francesco Pergolesi

After living in Turin for a few months, Francesco Pergolesi was inspired to make new photographs. We are excited to share the new images and look forward to showing all three (and more) in March at The Photography show, presented by AIPAD.

Theodore, 2017
Theodore, 2017
Moira, 2017
Moira, 2017
Amelie, 2017
Amelie, 2017

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.

Artist Talk with Serge Najjar

We are excited about our newest Artist Talk featuring Serge Najjar. In the video, Serge and Catherine discuss his background and what inspires him to photograph buildings in Lebanon. A Closer Look at the Ordinary runs through February 25.

Please feel free to share this video. We love making these Artist Talks and when you share them, you help us to keep making new ones!

Serge Najjar Answers James Lipton’s Top 10 Questions

Have you watched Inside the Actor’s Studio with James Lipton? In this popular TV show, James Lipton interviews legendary guests. He ends his interviews with his list of Top 10 Questions. Over the years, CEG has asked our artists these same 10 questions to gain insight into their personalities and work!

This week, Serge Najjar answers James Lipton’s Top 10 Questions!

Galaxy, 2016
Galaxy, 2016
  1. What is your favorite word? Resilience
  1. What is your least favorite word? Impossible
  1. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Light
  1. What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Aggressiveness
  1. What sound or noise do you love? Laughter (good)
  1. What sound or noise do you hate? Laughter (bad)
  1. What is your favorite curse word? Va voir si je suis ailleurs (rough translation “Get lost”)
  1. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Professional ice cream taster
  1. What profession would you not like to do? Anything related to politics
  1. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? You made my day

You can see all of Serge’s work on our website or stop by the gallery to see his solo show on view through February 25, 2017!