We are thrilled to end the 2018-year with work by newly discovered artist Michael Koerner, whose tintypes have stunned the art world. My DNA opens November 2 and runs through December 22, 2018. This will be the final show in our River North location. After 31 years in the same building, we are moving to 1637 W. Chicago Avenue, to join fellow gallerists in West Town.
There will be an opening reception on Friday, November 2, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. The artist will be in attendance.
This Saturday, November 3 at noon, we will host a discussion in the gallery between the artist, Saira Chambers, Director of the Japanese Culture Center, and Professor Yuki Miyamoto, a nuclear ethicist at DePaul University. The discussion will explore how contemporary artists like Koerner tackle the concept of Gaman (我慢), creating a conflict between his cultural heritage and his need to examine the effects that the atomic bomb had on his family. This event is free and open to the public. More information and a link to RSVP here!
On August 9, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the town of Nagasaki, a short distance from the home of Michael Koerner’s mother. The chemical fallout from the bomb instantly killed tens of thousands of people, and left many more reeling from its effects for the rest of their lives. Koerner’s family is just one example of the devastation that chemical warfare had during World War II.
Michael Koerner (b. Okinawa, Japan, 1963) is the oldest of five brothers. Due to genetic deformities resulting from cancer, he is the only remaining living sibling. His brothers’ fates (and potentially his own one day) can be linked to their mother, who was eleven years old on that ill-fated August day. She lived in Sasebo, Japan, 45 miles away from the blast. The long-term effects of gamma radiation led to his mother’s death at an early age, and all of his brothers. Koerner’s work explores his family history and genetics through small tintypes, using photographic chemistry to assimilate the bursts and biochemical fallout from the atom bomb. With a family history of various cancers, it is no wonder Koerner became an organic chemist, currently teaching at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Koerner’s 6 x 8” tintypes seduce the viewer with glistening deep blacks, metallic silvers, and odd green, yellow and blue hues, to talk about disease. By blowing through a straw, or dripping chemicals from an eyedropper onto tin plates, Koerner manipulates collodion to create sunbursts, explosions, amorphous shapes, and double helixes, all of which reference his family history. In Waterfalls we see vibrant blue chemical drippings, reminiscent of pieces by the 18th c. Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai; in Phases, small balls float across the sky, resembling shooting stars; in Finger Prints, the repetitive imprint of the artists fingertips suggests a medical scan or disease. As he states:
“I am the oldest of five brothers. The next born son of my parents lived for only several days. The next son was stillborn and the next was miscarried late in the third trimester. The cause of each of these tragedies was traced to genetic abnormalities. My youngest brother, Richard, eventually succumbed to complications associated with two separate bouts of lymphatic cancer. He lived until he was 32 years of age. There is a tremendous amount of pain and guilt associated with these horrendous endings. It is almost impossible to eliminate or even subdue the feelings that something could have been done differently or avoided.
About half of the 80 thousand deaths from the attack on Nagasaki occurred in the first day, while the other half of the deaths occurred from radiation sickness and burns in the following few months. Realistically, the ultimate death toll is at least ten times higher when you approximate the long-term effect of severe, acute exposure to gamma radiation. My mother and each of her four siblings died of rare genetic disorders and/or cancer at ages much younger than the median life expectancy. I remain hyper-vigilant towards my own cancer diagnosis and exhibit my own feelings of survivor’s guilt. These feelings, and family history and experiences, drive my artistic practice.”
Michael Koerner started showing his tintypes less than two years ago, and is part of numerous collections including the Sir Elton John Collection (Atlanta, GA), Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, (Kansas City, MO) and the Norton Museum of Art (West Palm Beach, FL). We are honored to present his first solo exhibition and believe it is a fitting way to close out our 31 years in River North. We opened the gallery with Nan Goldin’s Ballad of Sexual Dependency, a visual diary of the artist’s struggle with love, addiction, heartache and friendship. And we say thank you to River North with the work of a newly discovered photographer, Michael Koerner, who teaches us about our past and its ramifications, through visually stunning pieces of art. We look forward to welcoming the public to our new space at 1637 W. Chicago Ave., in March 2019.
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.
You can see work from all the artists featured at booth #167 here. For more information on the fair, visit expochicago.com.
Thanks to all who joined us for Vernissage! We had an excellent opening night catching up with friends old and new. If you have not yet made it to Navy Pier, be sure to visit Expo Chicago through Sunday and see us at booth 167.
We are debuting never-before-seen work by some of our featured artists, as well as new bodies of work by our represented artists. Read on to learn more about Jess T. Dugan, Terry Evans, Garrett O Hansen, Michael Koerner, and Laurent Millet!
Jess T. Dugan is an artist whose work explores issues of gender, sexuality, identity, and community. Jess earned an MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago (2014), a Master of Liberal Arts in Museum Studies from Harvard University (2010), and a BFA in Photography from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (2007).
Dugan has exhibited at venues including the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the Aperture Foundation, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, the Transformer Station, the Griffin Museum of Photography, and at many colleges and universities throughout the United States.
Public collections include the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Harvard Art Museums, the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, Fidelity Investments, JP Morgan Chase, and the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction.
Representations of older transgender people are nearly absent from our culture and those that do exist are often one-dimensional. For over five years, photographer Jess T. Dugan and social worker Vanessa Fabbre traveled throughout the United States creating To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults. Seeking subjects whose lived experiences exist within the complex intersections of gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, sexuality, socioeconomic class, and geographic location, they traveled from coast to coast, to big cities and small towns, documenting the life stories of this important but largely underrepresented group of older adults. The featured individuals share a wide variety of life narratives spanning the last ninety years, offering an important historical record of transgender experience and activism in the United States. The resulting portraits and narratives offer a nuanced view into the struggles and joys of growing older as a transgender person and offer a poignant reflection on what it means to live authentically despite seemingly insurmountable odds.
Terry Evans was born in the heart of the American prairie, Kansas City, Missouri, spending most of her adult life in Salina before moving to Chicago. It is in Kansas, among the hay bales, grain silos and cultivated fields, that Terry’s passion for the great plains was born – a passion that has led her on a photographic journey spanning more than twenty years and countless hours 600 feet above the ground in a single-engine plane.
Terry Evans’ work is part of numerous private and public collections including The Art Institute of Chicago, The Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY), Los Angeles County Museum of Art and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She has three monographs produced on her work: Disarming The Prairie(Johns Hopkins Press, 1998), The Inhabited Prairie (University Press of Kansas, 1998), and Prairie: Images of Ground and Sky (University Press of Kansas, 1996).
“Since 1978, all of my work is connected by an abiding interest in and love for prairie. This interest began more than forty years ago when I photographed the Fent prairie, an 80 acre virgin prairie near Salina, Kansas, where I lived. I explored Fent and other prairies for the next eight years, which introduced me to the wondrous balance of an undisturbed ecosystem, and has informed all of my work to date. In Ancient Prairies, I’m visiting prairie remnants once again. In late May, I went back to the Fent prairie to photograph its intricate botanical complexity after having photographed the effects of fracking in North Dakota and petcoke pollution in Southeast Chicago, which both showed human disregard for land and its people. I’m deeply disturbed by our seeming inability to confront the current and impending disasters of our intensive fossil fuel overuse and the climate change our lives are provoking. This work is about remembering the wisdom and beauty of intact prairies. It is about SEEING them. These prairies would not exist without human care, and Ancient Prairies serves as a tribute to the kinship between humans and nature.”
Garrett graduated from Grinnell College, where he studied economics and political science. He completed his MFA in photography at Indiana University and has taught at several universities in the United States and in Asia; he is now an Assistant Professor of Photography at the University of Kentucky. Garrett has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Europe, Indonesia, and Japan.
“Guns are one of the most lethal ways of attempting suicide, with roughly 90% of suicide attempts leading to death. They are also the most common method of suicide in America, with just over 50% of all suicides involving a gun. My newest body of work, entitled Loss, considers these statistics and addresses the fact that over 22,000 people a year are ending their lives with a gun.
Comprised of  2 x 4 foot panels, one for each month of the year, this large-scale piece acknowledges the devastating toll guns are taking on our communities. While high profile celebrity suicides garner significant media attention, very little media attention is given to average Americans who take their own lives. There are good arguments for this journalistic practice, in terms of the privacy for the friends and family of the deceased, as well as a desire to avoid “copycat” suicides. The drawback, however, is that thoughtful and informed conversations about suicide, and the strong correlation between gun ownership and suicide by gun, is not part of the national conversation. This series directly addresses this issue and asks viewers to acknowledge the magnitude of the problem.
The patterning on each panel is based on dove shot spray patterns fired from a 12-gauge shotgun. These patterns are then photographed and reproduced using a laser cutter. Each hole represents a single suicide in which a gun was used.”
Michael Koerner (Okinawa, Japan, 1963) is the oldest of five brothers. Due to genetic abnormalities and cancer, he is the only remaining living son. His brothers’ fates (and potentially his own one day) can be linked to their mother, who was eleven years old on August 9, 1945 when the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. She lived in Sasebo, Japan, 45 miles away from the blast. The long-term effects of severe, acute exposure to gamma radiation led to his mother’s death at an early age, and all of his brothers. Koerner’s work explores his family history and genetics through small tintypes, using photographic chemistry to assimilate the bursts and biochemical fallout from the atom bomb.
“I am the oldest of five brothers. The next born son of my parents lived for only several days. The next son was stillborn and the next was miscarried late in the third trimester. The cause of each of these tragedies was traced to genetic abnormalities. My youngest brother, Richard, eventually succumbed to complications associated with two separate bouts of lymphatic cancer. He lived until he was 32 years of age.
There is a tremendous amount of pain and guilt associated with these horrendous endings. It is almost impossible to eliminate or even subdue the feelings that something could have been done differently or avoided. Unfortunately, these feelings are amplified in my family. My mother, Kimiko Takaki, was eleven years old on August 9th, 1945 and living in Sasebo, Japan, which is about 45 miles away from the atomic bomb blast in Nagasaki that fateful day. About half of the 80 thousand deaths from the attack on Nagasaki occurred in the first day, while the other half of the deaths occurred from radiation sickness and burns in the following few months. Realistically, the ultimate death toll is at least ten times higher when you approximate the longterm effects of severe, acute exposure to gamma radiation. My mother and each of her four siblings died of rare genetic disorders and/or cancer at ages much younger than the median life expectancy.
I remain hyper-vigilant towards my own cancer diagnosis and exhibit my own feelings of survivor’s guilt. These feelings and family history and experiences drive my artistic hand.”
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. 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.”
Laurent Millet’s 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.
You can see work from all the artists featured at booth #167 here. For more information on the fair, visit expochicago.com.
Catherine Edelman Gallery is exhibiting once again at EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art, which has established the city of Chicago as a preeminent art fair destination. Initiating the beginning of the international fall art season each September, EXPO CHICAGO takes place at historic Navy Pier, whose vast vaulted architecture hosts leading international exhibitors presented alongside one of the highest quality platforms for global contemporary art and culture. Dedicated to rigorous and challenging programming, EXPO CHICAGO initiates strategic international partnerships, built alongside strong institutional relationships with major local museums and organizations to open parallel exhibitions and events.
The fair opens with a VIP preview on Thursday, September 27, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, to benefit the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, presented by the MCA Women’s Board.
The 2018 edition of EXPO CHICAGO will align with Art Design Chicago, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art, to present various programs and events throughout EXPO ART WEEK (September 24–30, 2018) including panel discussions, performances, and activations across the city.
The EXPOSURE section, presented within the main exposition hall, is dedicated to emerging programs presenting solo and two-artist presentations represented by galleries 8 years and younger. An unrivaled talks program for both public and VIP audiences on two stages, /Dialogues and Exchange by Northern Trust continue to feature the most established and respected voices in contemporary art and culture. The on-site installations program IN/SITU, selected by a major international curator, and EXPO Projects organized by the fair Directors, feature large-scale suspended sculptures and site-specific works within the exhibition hall, alongside EXPO VIDEO, featuring a dynamic curated screening program for film, video, and new media works, and Special Exhibitions booths highlighting non-profit organizations. The off-site public program engages the city’s long legacy with public art, including IN/SITU Outside, siting works by major contemporary artists throughout Chicago Park District locations for up to one year, and OVERRIDE | A Billboard Project, presenting a curated selection of digital art on the citywide network. Committed to fostering contemporary art criticism and discourse, EXPO CHICAGO publishes THE SEEN, Chicago’s only international journal of contemporary and modern art, online and in print.
Expanding on its renowned VIP Program—an audience of top international collectors, gallerists, art advisors, artists, and academics—the annual EXPO CHICAGO Curatorial Forum provides a conference platform to leading institutional and independent exhibition organizers.
Catherine Edelman Gallery is proud to present the following artists at EXPO CHICAGO 2018:
We are thrilled to open the fall season with a compelling show by three women who confront the way African Americans are perceived in art, the work place, and through their physical appearance. How do you see me?features photographs by Alanna Airitam, Endia Beal and Medina Dugger. Each artist’s work will be presented in a unique and non-traditional manner.
The show opens this evening, September 7 and runs through October 27, 2018. Alanna Airitam and Endia Beal will be at the opening reception tonight from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.
When Alanna Airitam (b. 1971, Queens, NY) was studying the history of art, she noticed the absence of black people in the history of Western art. This exclusion is familiar to many dark-skinned people who are used to seeing themselves represented in paintings and films as domestic workers, slaves or barbarians. By inviting African Americans to pose in the style of classic Dutch portraiture, Airitam reclaims art history, shining a light on the racial disparity in her series, The Golden Age. Titling her images after places in Harlem — Saint Sugar Hill, Saint Minton and Saint Lenox — the artist pays homage to the Harlem Renaissance, which opened doors for many young African Americans working today. It is a powerful series that celebrates black identity while highlighting the racial divide that exists throughout art history.
Endia Beal (b. 1985, Winston-Salem, NC) focuses her camera on how African American women are perceived in the corporate world based on their physical appearance. As a young black woman in a mostly white dominated corporate job, Beal knew people talked behind her back about her hair, which did not conform to their definition of beauty. Now, as a professor at Winston Salem State University, Beal tackles the stereotypes that her students and other black women face when they do not fit the corporate mold. Am I What You’re Looking For? poses black women in front of a photographic backdrop of a typical office setting, wearing an outfit they find suitable for work. Through this work, Beal challenges the viewer to look at their own biases or sterotypes as they view the photographs.
Medina Dugger (b. 1983, Corpus Christi, TX) pays homage to Nigerian photographer J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere, whose 40 year black and white photographic study of African women’s hairstyles set the standard for the celebration of black hair culture. African hair braiding methods date back thousands of years and Nigerian hair culture is a rich and often extensive process, which begins in childhood. The methods and variations have been influenced by social/cultural patterns, historical events and globalization. Hairdos range from being purely decorative to conveying deeper, more symbolic understandings, revealing social status, age and tribal/family traditions. In her Lagos studio, Dugger pays homage to historical and imagined hairstyles, honoring Ojeikere’s work through a contemporary lens in her series Chroma: An Ode to J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere.
How do you see me? brings together work by three women who dare to question racial stereotypes and biases that are seen in our history books and continue to exist today. Through these important photographs, the artists challenge the perception of beauty, and the different standards that exist based on skin color.
Catherine Edelman will be in conversation with Alanna Airitam, Sheridan Tucker Anderson, Jeffreen Hayes and Kate Lorenz on Thursday, October 18, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at 300 West Superior Street. A reception in the gallery will follow the panel discussion. More information and a link to RSVP can be found here.
2018 marks the fifteen-year anniversary of The Chicago Project, created in 2003 as an online-only gallery devoted to unrepresented photographers in the Chicagoland area. In an effort to promote local talent, Catherine Edelman Gallery put out a call for submission to all local photographers, that exists on a year round basis. To date, the site has featured more than 100 photographers whose images range from traditional black & white landscapes and documentary work, to color narratives and digital constructions. The goal of the online gallery is to expose local artists to our ever-increasing global audience of curators and collectors.
Born in 1982 in Germany Barbara Diener received her Bachelor of Fine Art in photography from the California College of the Arts and Masters in Fine Art in Photography from Columbia College Chicago. Her work has been exhibited at Alibi Fine Art, Chicago, IL, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL, Hyde Park Art Center, Hyde Park, IL, David Weinberg Gallery, Chicago, IL, New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM, Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA, Invisible Dog Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, Lilllstreet Art Center, Chicago, IL, Riverside Art Center, Chicago, IL. Pingyao Photo Festival, China, The Arcade, Chicago, IL, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA, Darkroom Gallery, Essex Junction, VT and Project Basho, Philadelphia, PA among others. Diener’s photographs are part of several private and institutional collections including the New Mexico Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Photography.
In 2013 Diener was selected to participate in two highly ambitious and competitive artist residency programs, the Fields Project in Oregon, IL and ACRE in Steuben, WI and she is currently participating in the residency program HATCH Projects 2015-2016 through the Chicago Artist Coaltition.
Diener is a winner of Flash Forward 2013, the recipient of a Follett Fellowship at Columbia College Chicago and was awarded the Albert P. Weisman Award in 2012 and 2013. In addition Diener received an Individual Artist Grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Events in 2015. She is the Collection Manager in the Department of Photography at the Art Institute of Chicago and teaches photography at Oakton Community College and at the School of the Art Institute.
Phantom Power In my previous body of work, Sehnsucht, I photographed in small, rural towns that triggered childhood memories. During that process I met and became fascinated with a woman named Kathy. She owns the diner in her town and lives on her husband’s family farm, which is haunted by his ancestors. Her belief in the spectral sparked my own interest in the unexplained and ties back to my ongoing curiosity about religion, spirituality and the human desire to believe that something else happens after we die and that a part of us–the spirit or soul–continues on.
The camera is a crucial tool for most paranormal investigators, so it was a natural step for me to become an amateur ghost hunter myself. Photography has been linked to the spirit world since the 1860s with the popularity of spirit photography and post-mortem portraits. Since its invention photography has lent a sense of immortality to its subjects. In recent years the paranormal has received amplified media attention through numerous ‘reality’ television programs that sensationalize any phenomena for the camera. On the contrary my approach is self-reflective and curious. To make the resulting images I have adopted both traditional and contemporary methods of capturing the invisible, as well as employed my own interpretation of the magical and mystical.
Jim Ferguson 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 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.
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.
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.
Whit Forrester Forrester is based in Chicago, IL. He has a BA in Environmental Studies from Oberlin College and an MFA in Photography from Columbia College. He has exhibited widely, in both national and international contexts, and has a range of aesthetic interests that include: practices of accumulation, manifestations of power, diaspora, noetic science, new materialisms, discourses around the transcendent and the material relationship between self and world. These encounter fusion around ideas of collective liberation, quantum feminisms, queer theory, and decolonization as a spiritual practice.
Domesticating the Numinous As principal actors in nature, plants energize the spaces of my research and work. Here, historical and contemporary aesthetic dimensions intersect with our assumed relationships to the natural world, and to what is known as the Divine or spiritual. At this juncture I primarily employ photographic processes alongside historical techniques of representation to place the work in conversation with art and colonial histories. Gold to represent light, light to represent the Divine, and a portraiture which exists at the edge of still life and iconography. The resulting works are intended to guide our responses as both viewers and participants in the larger world, taking cues from new materialism and the ongoing discourses that conjoin the metaphysical and quantum.
Inside these aesthetic realms’ and metaphysical environment’s relationship to power, the natural world as the subject takes on multiple roles. It serves as a historical recipient, an active participant (equal in importance to our human physicality and spirituality), and ultimately a collaborative transformer for the social relationships that compose larger systems of economic and societal power. I am ultimately interested in the potential of houseplants to queer our perceptions of our environments through the capitulation that they are, in fact, living multidimensional prints of the divine themselves.
Andy Goodwin Most of my time is spent in the commercial photography world shooting for clients like Sony, John Deere, Aflac, Boeing, GM, FORBES and others. However, it’s my personal and pro bono projects that excite me the most.
The Charreada, predecessor to the American Rodeo.
What began as a curious look into a sport I was unfamiliar with became a fascinating journey into the world of the Charro, a proud culture filled with ordinary Mexican Americans who suit up on the weekends to keep their tradition alive. The time and money spent perfecting these skills handed down from 100 years ago is an incredible spectacle to behold. It’s a dangerous sport and the rewards are often little or nothing with men commonly getting injured.
Tradition can be a good enough reason to participate in something but there is a shared importance and comfort here that I think helps these dedicated horsemen stay connected to each other and to a heritage that must seem far away.
This work has been recognized by National Geographic and has won awards with The Smithsonian and The Creative Quarterly.
Angie McMonigal Angie McMonigal moved to Chicago more than 15 years ago and has been exploring the city with her camera ever since. Raised in a small town in Wisconsin, she approaches the urban environment with the spirit of someone who grew up surrounded by nature, finding moments of meditative calm in terrain that is always transforming. Focusing more frequently on bold architectural details rather than sweeping cityscapes, her photographs celebrate those unexpectedly iconic elements hiding in plain sight. From landmark buildings she distills the essential lines and textures that frame the city. McMonigal sees these structures as actively shaping, and shaped by, human activity; they are never mere backdrop. Steel and brick towers are presented as quilts rich with history, solid structures soar with soul, and concrete edifices echo the lofty ambition of planners and dreamers.
An award-winning fine art photographer, Angie’s work has been internationally exhibited and published. Her photos have been showcased by galleries in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and other destinations. Publication credits include National Geographic, Departures, and SHOTS Magazine. She has received awards from the International Photography Awards (IPA) and Prix de la Photographie Paris (Px3), among others.
Urban Quilt In the city that built the first skyscraper, the lines that structure the urban landscape run north and south, east and west thus creating ‘the grid’. This is not just a tool for getting around; it’s the secret code that makes order out of chaos. However, the most striking lines are the ones that run from street to sky. The facades of Chicago’s imposing towers make up this whole other grid, the one staring straight at you, composed of windows, beams, balconies, pillars, rooflines.
We are surrounded by horizontal and vertical lines repeating rhythmically in steel, brick, stone, and glass. I’ve started to see this grid as a quilt. Because I don’t just see individual buildings standing there as imposing towers of steel. I see a patchwork. Different colors, different textures, different materials, different architectural styles, all pieced together. Some patches are pristine and new, others a little more worn. There are iconic patterns, immediately recognizable, and also bits that are hard to identify, fragments that feel familiar but are hard to place. Some blocks make clear that they were destined to be joined together, others look like accidents, or even challenging points of tension.
We often think of photographs as capturing a single moment in time. A shutter clicks, an instant is preserved. When I started photographing the city as an urban quilt, I became more aware of the way these buildings preserve different moments from our history. Those moments aren’t arranged in a nice orderly timeline like you’d find in a history book or a museum display. They’re standing next to each other, layered on top of one another. My photographs flatten out the miles between the streets and erase the years that separate one construction project from the next. It’s all stitched together now on a single plane.
Natasha Spencer is an interdisciplinary, American artist. Her digital work has screened in film, video, and new media venues across the country and abroad. Her audio piece, “The House She Flew In On”, is included on the compilation CD, “Extracted Celluloid”, produced by Illegal Art, Negativland, and RtMark, and has aired on the John Peel’s Show, Radio 1, BBC, London. In 2002 she was awarded a residency at The Wexner Center for the Arts Video Lab where she completed “The House She Flew In On : The Video” and “Somewhere”. Natasha received a 2004 Fellowship in the Media Arts from the Illinois Arts Council and an Illinois Art Council Fellowship in the Visual Arts in 1999. Additionally, she is archived at the The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC. Natasha currently works and resides in Chicago, IL.
Visual Improv When materials in an environment interplay in such a way that they allow everyday scenes to be framed as culture narratives; What went unnoticed is now obvious as a found object. Each photograph is a document of such observations, taken without further manipulation on my part, during the comings-and-goings of the day.
Samantha VanDeman Born in 1982, Samantha VanDeman grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. She studied fine arts at Columbia College Chicago, receiving a BFA in 2005. In 2007, she returned to college, this time to earn a MFA in visual arts from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University in 2009.
Samantha has been exhibited her work at Emory Visual Arts Gallery, Atlanta, GA; Finch and Ada, NY; New Orleans Photo Alliance Gallery, New Orleans, LA; Las Manos Gallery, Chicago, IL; Gallery 263, Cambridge, MA; Midwest center for Photography, Wichita, KS; Gallery 808, Boston, MA; Change Artist Space, San Francisco, CA; Perspective Gallery, Evanston, IL; Barrett Art Center Galleries, Poughkeepsie, NY and Fourth Wall Projects in Boston, MA; Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY; Rayko Photo center, San Francisco, CA; Smashbox Studios, Culver City, CA; Newspace Center for Photography, Portland, OR; The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO; Wall Space Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA. She most recently was selected as a winner for Flash Forward 2013 and won first place for architectural interiors in The International Photography Awards. Samantha’s work has been published in SHOTS Magazine, LENSCRATCH, F-Stop Magazine, CDS Porch and International Photography Annual.
No Vacancy No Vacancy is an ongoing photographic series documenting abandoned hotel interiors that have sat vacant for nearly five to thirty years.
In my work, I’m often drawn to abandoned places that appear to be frozen in time. I use my camera to examine these places that have been forgotten by society. Through the use of color and light, I attempt to capture the beauty that once existed in these magnificent environments. By photographing these hotels, I hope to provide a visual record of what might be lost forever.
See the entire exhibition in full on our website here, and join us tonight for the opening reception with the artists!
Follow along with us this week on Cyclopsblog, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for highlights and behind-the-scenes images from London! Plan your visit to the fair here, and be sure to visit booth G15! Stateside viewers can also see the booth in full on our website here.
May 16 – 20, 2018