Dual exhibition openings-Lori Nix / Kathleen Gerber: Empire, and Barbara Crane: The Polaroid Years!

Installation of two exhibitions has been underway at Catherine Edelman Gallery this week! We are thrilled to present, Empire, new work by Lori Nix / Kathleen Gerber in their second exhibition at the gallery. And in celebration of Barbara Crane’s 90th birthday, we are pleased to present The Polaroid Years, a solo exhibition featuring some of her best known Polaroid pieces from the late 1970s/80s including recent work from 2012. Both shows open March 2 with a reception from 5 pm to 7 pm. The artists will be in attendance. The Polaroid Years runs through April 14, 2018. Empire runs through April 28, 2018.

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Dawn, 2016 © Lori Nix / Kathleen Gerber

Lori Nix / Kathleen Gerber were both born in the Midwest, in areas known for tornadoes, 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.

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Sirens, 2017 © Lori Nix / Kathleen Gerber

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. Empire presents 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.”

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Arch, 2015 © Lori Nix / Kathleen Gerber

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), 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.

Barbara Crane is recognized as one of the leading conceptual artists to have emerged from The Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. With more than ninety solo exhibitions to date, including seven retrospectives, Crane has solidified her place as one of the most important experimental photographers today. For twenty-eight years she taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago becoming one of the most renowned educators worldwide, while consistently working on her own photography. She retired from teaching in 1995, and is currently working on several book projects.

Private Views, Mardi Gras, 1982 © Barbara Crane

Many of us have had a love affair with the Polaroid camera. It was the first time we instantly saw what we had photographed. The sound of the film emerging from the camera, the long wait for the image to fully appear… it seemed like magic. Barbara Crane was one of a handful of photographers who was given unlimited access to Polaroid film, allowing her to experiment and push the boundaries of the material. Several of these pieces will be on view, including some of her seminal SX-70 grids that examined repetition and its power to elevate simple patterns into majestic effects. In Polka Dots I, 1980, a grid of red dots play against a yellow backdrop, begging the viewer to see the difference between each frame. In Tucson, 1979, Crane manipulates Polaroid packfilm with a scribe, moving around the emulsion to create an outline of the subjects. And in Private Views, 1981, Crane spent time photographing at Chicago beaches and summer festivals, focusing on the people that make the city so culturally diverse. The Polaroid Years marks the return of Barbara Crane’s work to CEG, where it was first exhibited in 1989, shortly after the gallery opened. We are thrilled to celebrate this milestone with her.

Tucson, AZ, 1979 © Barbara Crane

Barbara Crane‘s work can be found in numerous collections worldwide including George Eastman Museum (Rochester, NY), The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL), Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY), Library of Congress (Washington, DC), Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, IL), Bibliotheque Nationale (Paris, France), Museum of Photography (Thessaloniki, Greece), Amon Carter Museum of American Art (Forth Worth, TX), among others. She is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts grants in 1974 and 1988, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in Photography in 1979, as well as many other grants and honors. Her archive will be housed at the Center for Creative Photography (Tucson, AZ), allowing the public and educators an opportunity to study her work in perpetuity.

See each of the exhibitions in full on our website


New work by Sandro Miller!

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Richard Avedon / John Ford, Director, Bel Air, California (April 11, 1972), 2017 © Sandro Miller

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.

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August Sander / Bricklayer (1928), 2017 © Sandro Miller

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.

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Man Ray / Tears (1932), 2017 © Sandro Miller

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.

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Irving Penn / Truman Capote, New York (1965), 2017 © Sandro Miller

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.”

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Patrick Demarchelier / Christy Turlington, British VOGUE, New York (1992), 2017 © Sandro Miller

You can see the entire series on our website here.

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).


2017 in review

Catherine on December 1, the gallery’s 30-year anniversary.

CEG would like to wish you all a Happy New Year! We hope you have a fun-filled celebration ringing in 2018! We wanted to take a moment and highlight some of our gallery artists’ accomplishments from the past year.


Keliy installing one of her walls of portraits.
  • Ysabel LeMay had her first museum show at the Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey:
  • Daniel Beltrá gave a keynote presentation at WildSpeak 2017 in Washington, DC.
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Photo by the International League of Conservation Photographers.
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Installation view of Clarissa’s work at the Bauhaus Archiv in Berlin.
Bettina with Harriet and Hercules, from her series of dog portraits.
  • Lastly, these spectacular pieces were acquired for public collections all across the country!

Thanks for following along with us on the blog! We look forward to sharing more with you in the new year!




Natasha Spencer added to the Chicago Project!

We are excited to have a new artist join the Chicago Project: Natasha Spencer! The following are a few of Natasha’s images and her artist statement. You can see more of her work on our website here.

Natasha Spencer

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The Saddest, Little Ghost, 2015 © Natasha Spencer

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 observation taken without further manipulation on my part, during the comings-and-goings of the day.

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Clownfish Stripes, Postmortem, 2015 © Natasha Spencer


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.





Preparing for AIPAD 2017

Once again, our gallery team is in the midst of art fair preparation–this time for The Photography Show, presented by AIPAD.

Now held at Pier 94, the show has been relocated to enable flexibility and growth for all presenters. The Association of International Photography Art Dealers has enlisted top artists, curators, and galleries from around the world to speak and exhibit during the fair’s four days. As quoted in Photograph Mag: “We’re looking forward to a more comprehensive and educational experience that the large space at the Pier affords AIPAD. Not only can dealers showcase larger works and a more critical curated booth, but we have plenty of space for the AIPAD Talks, book dealers, a bistro, and bar with lots of seating, a charging station, champagne bar, coffee bar, a special projection on the Pier front doors, and three special exhibitions from noted collectors.”

Visit us in booth 402! But before we get there, take a look at the packing process from inside our viewing-room-turned-storage-space for the day.

AIPAD public hours:

Wednesday, March 29: Vernissage
5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Thursday – Saturday, March 30 – April 1
12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, April 2 
12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.



Ctrl+P: Photography taken offline – Alexander Khokhlov

We are excited to feature the work of Alexander Khokhlov as the next Ctrl+P: Photography Taken Offline artist. Khokhlov’s photographs are on view through February 25, 2017!screen-shot-2017-01-07-at-4-31-56-pm

Weird Beauty and 2D or not 2D series
My first experience with face-art was in 2009, but it wasn’t until 2012 that I had the idea of a whole project – a monochromatic series of portraits which combined graphics, shapes and optical illusions. The Weird Beauty series is a mixture of aesthetic beauty photography with recognizable forms and logos. In 2013, I continued the theme of face transformations inspired by color pop-art posters, the result is 2D or not 2D. The goal of this series was to make the model’s face absolutely “flat” like two-dimensional pictures using only make-up and light.

Alexander Khokhlov was born in Calcutta, India, on May 9, 1982. He is now based in Moscow and works with his wife Veronica. Alexander started photography in 2008 as a commercial studio photographer. His experiments with beauty portraits and art resulted in the acclaimed series Weird Beauty and 2D or not 2D made in 2012 and 2013.

The art-photography that he creates is always based on people transformation. In Alexander’s works the human identity takes a back seat, and the models are used as canvases for well-known shapes to trick your eyes. Each project is a huge team work, a great game with words, imagination and illusions. Of course, it is also a game with the audience.

In 2015 and 2016 Alexander received several awards: 25th Trierenberg Super Circuit (Gold Medal, Weird Beauty series), One Eyeland Photography Awards (Silver Medal, Shapes and Illusions series), Neutral Density Photography Awards 2015 (Bronze Medal, Shapes and Illusions series), International Photography Awards 2015 (Honorable Mention, Shapes and Illusions series).

Alexander Khokhlov’s website
Visual News
Bored Panda

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.