Artist Talk with Elizabeth Ernst

We are thrilled to present our first Artist Talk of 2018! In it, Elizabeth Ernst and Catherine discuss how this new work relates to her previous two solo shows at CEG. Hear from the artist about the residents of Shady Grove Nursing Home and see the show, on view through February 24, 2018.

Watch our Vimeo channel for future talks, and catch up by watching Elizabeth’s previous two Artist Talks for Smoke and Mirrors (2010) and Mirror, Mirror (2014).


Inside the Artist’s Studio with Liat Elbling

Liat’s newest pieces being prepared for framing.

Liat Elbling works in the same tradition as many photographers before her (Sandy Skoglund, Lori Nix, James Casebere) who construct entire sets for the purpose of being photographed. Liat meticulously lights her scenes, achieving a tonality that magnifies the three dimensional qualities of her constructions. The resulting images are representations of worlds wherein the viewer may not immediately distinguish fabrication from reality.


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Archetype, 2015 © Liat Elbling

In her statement, the artist explains:

“In these series, I adopted a slightly different approach, and now, rather than taking away and eliminating details from existing models, I construct and compose them in my studio, These structures are some kind of gestures to the world I surrounded by: the street, the city, the view outside my window. I employ various materials: wood, MDF, plaster, Styrofoam, cardboard, and paper, painting each ‘set’ in a solid color, which is also manifested in the printing and framing process.

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Interaction #3, 2015 © Liat Elbling

“By this actions I return to art’s basic characteristics: perspective, light and shade, exam the relationship between two-dimensionality and three-dimensionality, and encounters between materials, colors and textures. I wish to explore of course principles which are prevalent in photography – creating a replica in relation to the original, visual deceptions and disruption of space – but also am fascinated by how we can, briefly, simply, almost just ‘forget’ about the photograph.

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Untitled (Full), 2015 © Liat Elbling

“The issues I’m focusing on reflect my need to explore the medium of photography as it relates to itself, to the social order, and to other media, whether the photographs are about architectural structures, plates, or flowers; I have employed these as tools in my reflections on photography.”

Proposals for Disorder is on view through October 28, 2017. See the entire show on our website here.

The locations that inspired Fabian Schubert

Fabian Schubert’s ongoing series Painters Portraits features artist Hank Schmidt in der Beek painting within landscapes that have significance in art history. Six photographs from this series are currently on view as part of Ctrl+P: Photography taken offline.

Schubert-numbered copy

Each image is titled after a destination known for having been visited by a famous painter.  We asked Fabian: who exactly painted in the locations of these photographs? and we learned some interesting trivia!

1. At the Herzogstand, 2013
Fabian Schubert: “Franz Marc, a member of the Blue Rider Group (“der Blaue Reiter” in German) painted here on the Herzogstand in the Bavarian Alps.”

2. At the Anse De Rospico, 2013
FS: “This one is dedicated to the ‘School of Pont Aven’ around french artist Paul Gauguin in Bretagne, France.”

3. In the Elbe Sandstone Mountains II, 2014
FS: “Caspar David Friedrich shows the Elb Sandstone Mountains in his painting ‘Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer’ which he painted in his studio and not in plein air.”
See this painting online through Hamburger Kunsthalle’s 19th Century collection.

4. At the beach of Etretat, 2013
FS: “Claude Monet painted exactly in this spot viewing the Manneporte in Étretat, France.”
See this painting online through The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

5. In the Zillertaler Alps I, 2009
FS: “This one is the very first of the series and dedicated only to ourselves.”

6. In the Elbe Sandstone Mountains I, 2014
FS: “C.D. Friedrich [as well], Elb Sandstone Mountains in Saxony, Germany.”

Visit the gallery to see Fabian’s work in person through September 4, 2017.
You can also see more of the artist’s work on his website.

Artist Talk with Laurent Millet

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 exhibit. We are thrilled to share with you our latest Artist Talk with Laurent Millet.

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!

Slowing Down for Slow Art Day

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This Saturday, April 8, is Slow Art Day. Around the world, galleries, museums and other institutions will encourage their visitors to spend more time than average with their collections. It has become common to speed walk through exhibits in search of the highlights, and Slow Art Day was enacted to combat this habit. Fifteen seconds is simply not enough time to digest everything that goes into creating a work of art.

In Texas, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston has outlined a four-step process for art educators that challenged students to look at a piece of art for 30 seconds, turn their backs, and then try to recall and record everything they had seen. When the students return to the artwork, they notice just how much was missing from their lists–what they had overlooked the first time. Both Harvard and MIT now offer courses that lead classes in mindful looking.

We will have five photographs designated for “slow looking,” at which a minimum of ten minutes is recommended for viewing, per piece. At the end of this 50-minute period, gallery staff will be on hand to answer any questions. Discussions have been scheduled for noon and 3 pm.

You don’t need to know a lot about art to approach it. But by simply looking a little longer, you can learn more than you may expect. Discussing your observations with gallery staff and other visitors this Saturday will teach you even more. By thoroughly engaging with the photographs in our gallery, you’ll leave with a better understanding of how the work was made, why, and how it may relate to work by other artists you have seen.

Below are a few articles related to Slow Art Day:
The Art of Slowing Down in a Museum – New York Times
How Long Do You Need to Look at a Work of Art to Get It? – Artsy
Practice Looking at Art – Museum of Fine Arts, Houston


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!

Behind the Scenes and Inside the Artist Studio with Clarissa Bonet

We’ve received a lot of questions recently about where and how Clarissa Bonet makes the photographs included in her first solo show, City Space + Stray Light. She describes her process in her Artist Talk and in several interviews recently published (Lensculture, Chicago Magazine, Lenscratch, Aint Bad, Dodho). We decided to show you Clarissa’s process using behind the scene photos. We follow her from photographing a new image to making a final print in her studio.

Clarissa begins each photograph for her City Space series by walking around Chicago for hours. She records her experiences with an iPhone and takes notes about the buildings, light and pedestrians. She then uses her notes to recreate dramatic moments and experiences with hired models. The final photographs are carefully staged memories that appear to be snapshots of every day life in the city.

Clarissa on the streets of Chicago making new images for her ongoing series City Space

In her Stray Light series, Clarissa shoots in several different cities at night (Chicago, NY and LA). Each image contains an array of glowing windows.

Clarissa shooting in LA. Photo © Luis Bueno
Clarissa shooting in NYC Photo © Luis Bueno
Clarissa shooting in NYC Photo © Luis Bueno

The work continues next in her studio. Clarissa scans her negatives for City Space and begins creating test prints.

Clarissa scanning negatives
Clarissa creating test prints
Clarissa creating test prints

And now that she is back in the studio, the Stray Light images are ready to be created! Each image contains many windows and lights that are the source materials for new photographs. Clarissa isolates and saves each window or light separately, creating a large archive of images from one city. She then spends many hours layering these images together to create her own constellation of windows. Once completed, she begins the process of printing each image.

Clarissa selecting and archiving windows
Clarissa selecting and archiving windows
2016_studio_clarissabonet Clarissa spends hours on the computer editing files.
Clarissa spends hours on the computer editing files.
No matter how much time Clarissa spends with an image on the computer, she still prints it several times before she considers it complete.

Clarissa printing new images and viewing the prints on the wall in her studio
You can see all of Clarissa’s work on our website, and they are even better in person! Her show is on view at the gallery until October 29!