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


Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary opens with VIP preview

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This week, we’ve returned to sunny Florida for Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary. PBM+C will provide collectors a fresh opportunity to acquire important never-before-exhibited works from both the primary and secondary markets in the intimate setting of a 65,000 square foot clear span pavilion centrally located in downtown West Palm Beach.

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The VIP Preview sponsored by Christie’s International Real Estate takes place today, Thursday, January 11th, benefiting the Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society from 5:00 – 9:00 pm. We are excited to showcase the work of Tami Bahat, Daniel Beltrá, Clarissa Bonet, Kate Breakey, Ysabel LeMay, Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison, Gregory Scott and Bettina von Zwehl. Click here to view all the artwork on our website and be sure to visit us at booth PB140. 

Click below to read about CEG in West Palm Beach ahead of today’s fair opening:
Huffington Post
Palm Beach Daily News

Follow along with us this week on InstagramFacebookTwitter and here on Cyclopsblog, for updates and more information about the artists we are featuring.

Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary
Booth #PB 140

January 11 – January 15, 2018
Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary Pavilion
825 S Dixie Hwy @ Okeechobee Blvd
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Download a complimentary pass here.
For more information, visit www.artpbfair.com.


Thursday, January 11 5pm – 9pm
Friday, January 12 11am – 7pm
Saturday, January 13 11am – 7pm
Sunday, January 14 11am – 7pm
Monday, January 15 11am – 6pm

Opening Friday—Elizabeth Ernst: Shady Grove Nursing Home!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

See the entire exhibition on our website here.


Bettina von Zwehl: Portraits opens tonight!

December 1 marks our 30-year anniversary of the gallery. The gallery was established as a place to showcase new talent alongside well-known photographers. To celebrate this milestone, we are thrilled to debut the miniature portraits of London based photographer Bettina von Zwehl in her solo exhibition, Portraits. The show opens November 3 and runs through December 30, 2017.

The opening reception is tonight, Friday, November 3, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Tallulah and Jasmine, 2015
Tallulah and Jasmine, 2015 © Bettina von Zwehl

The history of miniature paintings can be dated as far back as the 16th century when wealthy Europeans commissioned their likeness for their loved ones or as a means of marital introductions. Originally made in gouache, watercolor or enamel, miniatures found a more utilitarian use with the invention of the daguerreotype and then ultimately the tintype. In today’s digital age of photography, with more and more artists printing billboard sized prints, Bettina von Zwehl is among a growing number of practitioners looking to the past to create powerful, intimate portraits, in a 7 x 5” or smaller format.

Portraits features several bodies of work which all address the formal portrait, presented in oval, round or arched frames. Von Zwehl taps into historical iconography, staging scenarios reminiscent of allegorical paintings. In Tallulah and Jasmine, a young girl stares at the camera holding a dead fish; in Sari (Lampropeltis Triangulum Nelsoni), an adolescent girl confronts the viewer with a milk snake wrapped around her neck; in her series Made Up Love Song, we see a woman in profile, photographed in the same position over the course of six months; The Sessions presents silhouetted portraits of a young girl printed on photographic paper which is then torn, suggesting the fragility of youth; and in her latest series Dog Portraits, pugs, terriers, and all breeds of dogs are elevated to a regal status normally affiliated with royalty. Whether photographing young girls, women, or canines, von Zwehl honors the past, creating an intimacy often lacking in art making today.

Jenson I, 2017
Jenson I, 2017 © Bettina von Zwehl

Bettina von Zwehl was born in Munich, Germany (1971) and currently lives in London. She received her MA from the Royal College of Art (London) in 1999. Her ongoing pre-occupation with the miniature was inspired by her six month Artist in Residence at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2011. Solo exhibitions of her work have been held at a number of leading European and American museums and galleries including the Sigmund Freud Museum (Vienna, 2016) Freud Museum (London, 2016), Fotogaleriet (Oslo, 2014), National Portrait Gallery (London, 2014), Centrum Kultury Zamek (Poznan, 2011), Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood (London, 2009) and The Photographers Gallery (London, 2005). Her photographs are held in various collections including The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York, NY), Mint Museum (Charlotte, NC), Victoria and Albert Museum (London, England), The National Portrait Gallery (London, England), The Rubell Family Collection (Miami, FL) and Pier 24 Photography (San Francisco, CA).

See the entire exhibition on our website here.


Opening night at Expo Chicago!

It’s opening night at Expo Chicago! Here’s your first glimpse of Booth #257. Make sure you stop by and see these photographs in person.

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Booth 257
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Clarissa Bonet (left) and Gregroy Scott (center)
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(from left to right) Laurent Millet, Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, and Clarissa Bonet
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Laurent Millet (foreground)
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(from left to right) Daniel Beltrá, Laurent Millet, and Liat Elbling
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Omar Imam (left), Serge Najjar (right), and shelves with work by Dan Estabrook and Bettina von Zwehl (center)
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Special EXPOPROJECTS wall featuring Sandro Miller across from booth 257

Initiating the international fall art season each September, EXPO CHICAGO hosts leading art galleries presented alongside one of the highest quality platforms for global contemporary art and culture. The Vernissage Opening Night Benefit, presented by the Women’s Board benefiting Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, takes place tonight, September 13, from 6:00 – 9:00 pm. We hope to see you then!

Festival Hall, Navy Pier
600 E Grand Ave Chicago, IL 60611

Wednesday, September 13
Vernissage: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Thursday, September 14 through Saturday, September 16
11:00 – 7:00 pm

Sunday, September 17
11:00 pm – 6:00 pm

See all the photographs on view at Booth #257 on our website here.
For tickets and more information about the fair, visit expochicago.com.
Follow along with us this week on InstagramFacebookTwitter and here on Cyclopsblog!


Proposals for Disorder opens tonight!

We are thrilled to present the American debut of Israeli photographer Liat Elbling. Proposals for Disorder opens September 8 and runs through October 28, 2017 and is being presented to coincide with the Chicago Architecture Biennial. The opening reception is Friday, September 8, from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. The artist will be present.

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Tel Aviv is a place known for its rich history that is obvious when walking along the city streets. Founded in 1909, the city thrives as an architectural gem, with contemporary buildings sitting alongside Bauhaus and other modernist styles. It is here, within this high tech city, that Liat Elbling finds her inspiration. In her studio, she constructs architectural models made from wood, clay, plaster, paper and paint. These fictitious spaces, printed and painted in a singular color, are inspired by her surroundings. Working within the same tradition as James Casebere, Lori Nix and Thomas Demand, Elbling’s framed photographs create a dialogue about perception and reality.

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Like many still-life photographers, Elbling cuts, tapes and assembles objects on a table, condensing or expanding the physical space through meticulous lighting. Proposals for Disorder presents 23 photographs that examine how the construction of a space can affect ones mood. A gray room can be both soothing and non-descript; red is the color of passion and danger; merlot the color of a soothing wine. In each of these scenarios, Elbling uses color to create an atmosphere that invites the viewer into a world that is as comforting as it is suspenseful. As she states, it is her desire to “return to art’s basic characteristics: perspective, light and shade, examining the relationship between two and three dimensionality, and the blending of materials, colors and textures.”

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Liat Elbling was born in Ramat-Gan, Israel (1980) and currently lives in Tel Aviv. In 2009, she graduated with honors from the Department of Photography at the Minshar School of Art and has since been working full-time as an artist. Elbling’s work has been shown in numerous exhibitions throughout Israel, and in solo shows in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Belgium. Most notably, she had a solo exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in 2011 after receiving the prestigious Leon Constantiner Prize for an Israeli photographer.

You can see the entire exhibition on our website here.

With support from the Consulate General of Israel to the Mid-West.

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TARGETED group show opens today!

We are proud to present Targeted, a three-person show that marks the Chicago debut of work by Omar Imam, Garrett O. Hansen, and Colleen Plumb, which addresses the effects of violence and captivity on individuals and communities. The show opens today, July 14, and runs through September 1, 2017.

The opening reception is tonight, July 14 from 5:00-8:00pm, as a part of the River North Gallery District’s Mid Summer Art Walk. Over 15 galleries will have summer exhibitions on view, and local restaurants will offer food and drink specials. Stop by CEG for the opening of Targeted, and stick around for the after party at Bar Lupo. Read more about the Art Walk here.


Every day the news about Syria is dire, as the country finds itself in a civil war with no apparent end. As of today, 6.6 million people have been displaced and the number keeps rising. More than 400,000 people have been murdered, and hundreds of thousands more have been severely beaten, starved and detained. More than 17,000 people have died in Syrian prisons, as a result of torture or inhumane conditions, and another 13,000 sentenced to death. The horror in Syria is now entering its 6th year, as the government seems to be systematically annihilating its people.

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Untitled, 2015 © Omar Imam, part of the series Live, Love, Refugee.

In 2012, Syrian activist turned photographer Omar Imam (b. 1979, Damascus) was kidnapped and tortured by a militia and only let go when a friend intervened. Soon after, Imam left Damascus with his parents and wife, settling in Beirut where he and his wife started a family. In 2016, he moved to Amsterdam, where he currently resides. His family recently received paperwork that will finally allow them to join him.

Untitled, 2015 © Omar Imam, part of the series Live, Love, Refugee.

Live, Love, Refugee is Imam’s photographic response to the chaos erupting in his homeland. In refugee camps across Lebanon, Imam collaborated with Syrians to create photographs that talked about their reality, rather than presenting them as a simple statistic. As a refugee himself, Imam understands the loss and chaos of being displaced from ones home. But dreams cannot be eradicated — dreams of escape, dreams of love, and dreams of terror. These dreams are what Imam set out to capture. The resulting images peel back the façade of flight, to reveal the spirit of those who persevere, despite losing everything that was familiar. These composed photographs challenge our perception of victimization, offering access into the heart and soul of humanity.

In the United States, roughly 40% of households own a firearm. There are enough guns—approximately 300 million—to arm nearly every man, woman, and child in the country. This statistic is at the core of work being done by Garrett O. Hansen (b. 1979, NYC). In 2013, Hansen moved from Indonesia to teach at the University of Kentucky. It was in Lexington that the prevalence of gun culture caught his attention and became the focus of his work. He began making weekly visits to a local gun range and collecting the cardboard pieces that sit behind familiar targets of a generic unarmed silhouette. Each shooter is given a fresh target, while the backings slowly erode from the rounds shot at the figures chest and head. In Silhouette, Hansen brings these pieces of cardboard into the darkroom, where he creates full sized contact prints of them. These photographs are then scanned and form the basis for the final pieces that are made of mirrored Plexiglas and represent a one-to-one replica of the original cardboard backings. As viewers approach the piece, they see their own reflections hollowed out by the countless bullets. Through this series, Hansen seeks to engage the viewer in a broader discussion about gun culture in America.

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Memorial, Chicago, 2016 © Garrett O. Hansen

According to available data, 2016 was the deadliest year in the city of Chicago since 1997. A huge uptick in violence resulted in 723 gun deaths… the highest of any city. The entire state of Kentucky had 278. In his newest series Memorial, Hansen examines these statistics by physically shooting pieces of paper multiple times, from which he creates gelatin silver prints, mirroring the number of gun deaths in each month. A comparison between Chicago and Kentucky will be on view. Through pieces of paper riddled with bullet holes, Hansen illuminates the heavy price of an armed civilian population.

Most people encounter endangered animals in a zoo, behind protective glass or a large moat. Designed to educate, preserve and foster conservationism, zoos have come under fire by animal rights activists who question the welfare of captured animals in an artificial environment. Colleen Plumb (b. 1970, Chicago) tackles these issues in Path Infinitum, a video projection that explores the complexities and contradictions of keeping wild animals in captivity and raises questions about our participation as a spectator.

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Sunda (Topeka, Kansas) at Train Bridge, North Branch Chicago RIver, Chicago, Illinois, 2016 © Colleen Plumb

Traveling to more than 60 zoos in the U.S. and Europe, Plumb filmed animals exhibiting stereotypy, a behavior only seen in captive animals, which includes rhythmic rocking, swaying, head bobbing, stepping back and forth and pacing. Path Infinitum looks at elephants, lions, and polar bears, along with many other animals that exhibit stereotypy or hopelessness due to lack of adequate mental stimulation or an inability to engage in natural activities. As more and more animals face extinction due to human consumption, sport and profit, Plumb raises questions that are meant to provoke discussion and raise awareness about endangered species.

A still from Path Infinitum © Colleen Plumb, film projection on CEG’s front windows

In conjunction with the opening of Targeted, Facets Cinémathèque is hosting a screening of Unlocking the Cage, a documentary about animal advocacy group, Nonhuman Rights Project. NhRP’s executive director, Kevin Schneider, will join Colleen Plumb in a discussion about art’s role in litigating for nonhuman beings, immediately following the film. The event is FREE and begins at 5pm, Saturday, July 15. RSVP here!

Omar Imam is an Amsterdam-based, Syrian photographer and filmmaker. In his photographic works, Imam uses irony and a conceptual approach to respond to the violent situation in Syria, often publishing his work under a pseudonym. After leaving Damascus in late 2012, he began making fictional short films that often focus on the Syrian refugee experience. Individually and with NGOs, he has produced films, photographic projects, and workshops for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. In April 2017 he received the Tim Hetherington Visionary Award.

Garrett O. Hansen graduated from Grinnell College in 2002, where he studied economics and political science. He completed his MFA in photography at Indiana University in 2010, 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. Hansen has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Europe, Indonesia, and Japan.

Colleen Plumb works in photography, video, public installation, and object making, tackling the relationship between animals and humans. Her work is held in several permanent collections and has been widely exhibited nationally. Her video projections have taken her from the Grand Teton National Park to Berlin, Paris, New Mexico, and most recently to New York City, where she projected Path Infinitum onto the doors of Pier 94 during The Photography Show, presented by AIPAD.

You can see the entire exhibition by visiting our website.