We are thrilled to present to you the work of our newest represented artist, Michael Koerner (b. Okinawa, Japan, 1963), whose work we will be debuting this week at The Photography Show, presented by AIPAD! Michael is a photographer and chemist, combining the two to create unique collodion photograms on tin plates that range in size from 6 x 4″ to 9 x 6.”
The artist 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.”
The past few months have proven to be a productive time for many of our represented artists! We are thrilled to show you new photographs from several CEG artists, many of whom will debut recently completed work at The Photography Show presented by AIPAD April 4 – 8, as well as Photo London, May 17 – 20. Read on to learn about the new pieces you can expect to see from Clarissa Bonet, Ysabel LeMay, and Laurent Millet!
Clarissa Bonet (b. 1986 Tampa) lives and works in Chicago. Her work explores aspects of the urban space in both a physical and psychological context. She received her M.F.A. in photography from Columbia College Chicago in 2012, and her B.S. in Photography from the University of Central Florida. Interested in the physical space of the city and its emotional and psychological impact on the body, she uses the camera to transform the physical space into a psychological one, providing a personal interpretation of the urban landscape. Her work has been exhibited nationally, internationally, and resides in the collections of The Museum of Contemporary Photography’s MPP collection, The South East Museum of Photography, and The Haggerty Museum. Most recently she received a second Chicago Individual Artist Grant and was curated into a group show at the Bauhaus Archive Museum in Berlin, Germany.
Building facades melt into darkness, their architectural details vanish, leaving only glowing windows in a sea of pitch black, like stars in the night sky. Stray Light is an ongoing photographic project aimed at imaging the nocturnal urban landscape. We have all but lost the night for our progress. In its place we have formed a new cosmos, one of vanished surfaces and flecks of light. Carefully constructing each image from multiple photographs, I reform the urban landscape in my own vision – one that seeks to reconstruct the heavens in its absence above the cityscape. Light emanating from each window references a world unknown, evoking a sense of mystery and awe. We no longer look up to the night’s sky with awe. Instead, that is how we look out at the city.
One 42 x 42″ pigment print of “SL.2018.0222 Chicago, 2018” will be on view at The Photography Show. Two 24 x 24″ images from Stray Light, including “SL.2018.0222 Chicago, 2018” will be on view at Photo London.
City Space The urban space is striking – its tall and mysterious buildings, crowds of anonymous people, the endless sea of concrete. City Space is an ongoing photographic exploration of the urban environment and my perception of it. I am interested in the physical space of the city and its emotional and psychological impact on the body. These photographs reconstruct mundane events in the city that I have personally experienced or witnessed in public. Stark light, deep shadow and muted color are visual strategies I explore to describe the city. I use the city as a stage and transform the physical space into a psychological one. The images I create do not represent a commonality of experience but instead provide a personal interpretation of the urban landscape.
Ever since the invention of the camera, there are few subjects that attract photographers more than the landscape. Whether photographing from the sky or lying on the grass, photographers continually seek to understand and explore the ground upon which we live and walk. While it seems almost impossible to capture nature in a unique way, Ysabel LeMay defies all odds, creating spectacular images that radiate with color, density and awe.
Ysabel LeMay (b. 1966 Quebec) found photography later in life, after a successful career working as a graphic artist for prominent advertising agencies. Seeking greater fulfillment, she turned to painting, and in 2002, left the corporate world to pursue painting fulltime. Eight years later, she turned her attention to photography, garnering significant success in a few short years. Combining her technical expertise with her painterly eye, LeMay creates photographs that challenge our perception of the landscape.
Lemay’s technique is very straightforward, yet extremely time consuming. She photographs flora, birds, tree limbs, flowers, and anything else she finds along her daily walks. Once back in the studio, she assembles all her files into her computer and starts layering images, using hundreds of individual files to construct each final photograph. Balancing color, light and subject, Ysabel LeMay creates pieces that vibrate with an intensity often experienced in dreams. You will find both “Incubatio, 2018” and “Hydra 2017” at The Photography Show. “Voltige, 2018” and “Hydra, 2017” will be on view at Photo London.
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. L’Astrophile, one of the artist’s latest bodies of work, invokes the imagery of a lunar landing. Two salt prints from this series will be on view at The Photography Show.
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.
Don’t miss seeing all new work by Elizabeth Ernst in her third solo show at CEG, Shady Grove Nursing Home! Join us for a special closing reception on the final day of the exhibition, Saturday, February 24, 2018. If you could not attend the opening night reception, this is your last chance to enjoy the exhibition before it closes and speak with the artist. Coffee and doughnuts will be provided from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.
RSVP on our Facebook event page! You can also see the entire exhibition on our website.
You know Illinois native Sandro Miller for his collaboration with John Malkovich to create the homage series Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters, which received wide acclaim when it debuted in 2014. The series honors photographs that have impacted Sandro. Pieces include Irving Penn’s photograph of Truman Capote in a corner; Bert Stern’s photographs of Marilyn Monroe; Dorothea Lange’s image of a migrant mother; Richard Avedon’s beekeeper, among many others. The show is still traveling the world and has opened this week in Oslo, where Sandro debuted 20 new homage images: August Saunder’s portraits of 20th-century workers, Man Ray’s surrealist photograph of glass tears, and Richard Avedon’s image of a John Ford, to name a few. Read on for more images and information about the series.
At the age of sixteen, upon seeing the work of Irving Penn, Sandro Miller knew he wanted to become a photographer. Mostly self-taught, Sandro relied on books published by many of the great artists canonized in photographic history. Through their pictures, he learned the art of composition, lighting and portraiture. More than 30 years later, with clients ranging from Forbes, GQ and Esquire, to American Express, Coca-Cola and BMW, Sandro has secured his place as one of the top advertising photographers worldwide.
His success in the commercial world allows him to continue his personal projects, which has included working in Cuba, photographing American blues musicians, various dance troupes, and extended endeavors with John Malkovich, his long time friend and collaborator. Sandro first met Malkovich in the late 1990s, while working on a job for Steppenwolf Theater. More than 20 years later, Sandro and John are still collaborating.
In 2013, Sandro decided to do a project honoring the men and women whose photographs helped shape his career. After selecting thirty-five images to emulate, Sandro contacted Malkovich, who instantly agreed to participate. When speaking about Malkovich, Sandro states: “John is the most brilliant, prolific person I know. His genius is unparalleled. I can suggest a mood or an idea and within moments, he literally morphs into the character right in front of my eyes. He is so trusting of my work and our process… I’m truly blessed to have him as my friend and collaborator.”
You can see the entire series on our website here.
Catherine Edelman Gallery is pleased to present all new work by Chicago photographer/painter Elizabeth Ernst in her third solo show, Shady Grove Nursing Home. The show opens January 5 and runs through February 24, 2018.
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 traveling circus began to fade.
In her third solo show at Catherine Edelman Gallery, Ernst takes us into the Shady Grove Nursing Home, located in Clarence, NY, where several of the G.E. Circus performers have retired. Elderly, and suffering from various circus related ailments, many of the G.E. regulars find themselves waiting out their days telling stories about the good old days, substituting facts when their memories fade. But this is no ordinary nursing home. Shady Grove is situated next to a beautiful lake, and has all of the amenities one can ever desire.
Shady Grove introduces us to Jake, a retired chef in the cookhouse, who vows to keep smoking until he can no longer breathe; Lenny, one of the resident caregivers, who was a former trumpet player in the circus band and still serenades his friends in the evening; the clinic, where residents go to see Dr. Stanley, who has been taking care of them for more than 30 years; and Lois, a former showgirl dancer whose beauty is still apparent, even as her body slowly succumbs to old age. At Shady Grove, Elizabeth Ernst’s cast of characters share their remaining years with us, as they reflect, dream, fantasize and embellish their personal histories to staff and visitors. Through their eyes, we experience the difficulties and richness of circus life, as it continues to change and evolve.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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 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…”
“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.
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.