New additions to The Chicago Project: Lindsey Higgins and Shawn Rowe!

Catherine Edelman Gallery is excited to have added Lindsey Higgins and Shawn Rowe to our online gallery, The Chicago Project. Read more about these artists’ respective series  and see a selection of images below.

Lindsey Higgins
Lindsey Higgins (b. 1994) lives and works in Chicago, IL. She attended Columbia College Chicago and earned a BA with a discipline in fine art photography.

Lindsey is most influenced by the potential of memories, specifically, how such memories shape one’s experience with their own unique take on the world. Her most current project Empty Spaces speaks to the power of theses senses. Much like an individual’s sense of smell, her interest in color and the ways that it speaks differently to all has assisted her over the past three years to build her series Empty Spaces.

screen-shot-2018-10-13-at-4-18-54-pm.png
25444c, 2018 © Lindsey Higgins


Empty Spaces

Empty Spaces is composed of a collection of images exploring how light directly relates to the way separate spaces are seen. Each space contains a unique color palette as well as interesting formal qualities, such as the misperception of space and depth. I have furthered this observation by pairing each empty space with an image that mimics the color palette already represented.

screen-shot-2018-10-13-at-4-19-02-pm.png
172331, 2017 © Lindsey Higgins

A hexadecimal number titles each piece. The hex values are six-digit combinations of letters and numbers that represent three separate values, the red, blue, and green components of each image. By describing the work using hex values, each set of images is precisely named. With this knowledge in mind, audiences are able to interact with the work to later find the specific color they enjoyed most through referencing the hex value.

Screen Shot 2018-10-13 at 4.27.37 PM.png
d8b69a, 2018 © Lindsey Higgins

I have presented Empty Spaces as a series of diptychs as it is relevant to view the work in two parts. Diptychs allow the audience to observe different perspectives on the same subject. In this case, each subject predominantly shares color values. My wish is to remind others of a specific moment or space in their life through viewing my work. By combining photographs from different environments, one that is heavily spatial and one that contains natural substances or traces thereof, I hope to take a closer look into the details of these spaces.

 

Shawn Rowe
Shawn Rowe (b. 1985) is a Chicago based artist and curator exploring the complexities of gender and social constructs through portraiture.  His long form approach allows him to embed with his subjects for months or years in order to understand them as complex beings.  Shawn’s work has been exhibited and featured throughout the United States and internationally including the Photographic Center Northwest, Aint-Bad and Der Greif.  Shawn is also the Assistant Editor of SKYLARK EDITIONS, a non-profit book publisher in Chicago, IL. Shawn received an MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago and holds a BA in Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University.

Screen Shot 2018-10-13 at 4.16.48 PM
Untitled (hand on neck), 2018
V

In my work a quiet repose emerges, where moments of introspection grow long while light and atmosphere become tactile. Landscape imagery punctuates this self-portrait, serving as metaphor to discuss the symbiosis between nature and the body. characterizes this relationship as both internal and external, with each body leaving marks upon the other. The power structures that support this dialogue manifest as visual interruptions in the intervening space between reflection and perception. In this work I create space to discuss a range of definitions of masculinity, sexuality and gender in order to articulate acceptance and resolve.

 

The title describes the ambiguity of the project itself. In ancient times, V was used interchangeably with the letter U. V is the Roman Numeral for five and embodies a downward pointing arrow. For this work, the two lines that create the letter V intersect where the body and the environment exchange forces. These images represent a visualization of this conversation. The installation is emblematic of the work in that the scale, distance and dimensions are variable. Like the letter V, I am asking my viewer to bring their own associations and meanings to the images and the body of work as a whole.

__________________________________________________________

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.

Advertisements

Opening tonight! The Chicago Project VII: Selections from our Online Gallery!

CEG  is proud to present our biannual summer exhibition, The Chicago Project VII: Selections from our Online Gallery, featuring the work of Barbara Diener, Jim Ferguson, Whit Forrester, Andy Goodwin, Angie McMonigal, Natasha Spencer, and Samantha VanDeman. The opening reception with the artists is tonight, July 13, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm!

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.

Barbara Diener
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.

Tracing Spirits (American Flag), 2015 © Barbara Diener
Tracing Spirits (American Flag), 2015 © Barbara Diener

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.

smoke in forest
Smoke in Forest, 2017 © Barbara Diener

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.

Infrared+Tree
Infared Tree, 2016 © Barbara Diener

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 2, 1986
Reconstructed Space 02, 1986 © Jim Ferguson

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.

Reconstructed Space 9, 2014
Reconstructed Space 09, 2014 © Jim Ferguson

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.

Fig. 47 Aloe vera, Louisville, KY, 2016
Fig. 47 Aloe vera, Louisville, KY, 2016 © Whit Forrester

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.

Fig. 65b Crassula ovata, Chicago, IL
Fig. 65b Crassula ovata, Chicago, IL, 2016 © Whit Forrester

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.

Charreada
The Charreada, predecessor to the American Rodeo.

charreada-2-2015
Charreada [Ref. #2], 2015 © Andy Goodwin

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.

Charreada 1, 2015 © Andy Goodwin
Charreada [Ref. #1], 2015 © Andy Goodwin

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.

Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 1.43.53 PM
Urban Quilt 8473, 2016 © Angie McMonigal

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.

Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 2.36.48 PM
Urban Quilt 1083, 2016 © Angie McMonigal

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
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.

Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 4.05.21 PM
Clownfish Stripes, Postmortem © Natasha Spencer

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.

Blue_Sofa_-_Hotel_Columbia_in_Sharon_Springs__New_York__2012_
Blue Sofa – Hotel Columbia in Sharon Springs, New York, 2012 © Samantha VanDeman

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.

Television_Room_-_Thomas_Jefferson_Hotel_in_Birmingham__Alabama__2011_
Television Room – Thomas Jefferson Hotel in Birmingham, Alabama, 2011 © Samantha VanDeman

No Vacancy
No Vacancy is an ongoing photographic series documenting abandoned hotel interiors that have sat vacant for nearly five to thirty years.

Three_Red_Chairs_-_Hotel_Washington_in_Sharon_Springs__New_York__2013_
Three Red Chairs – Hotel Washington in Sharon Springs, New York, 2013 © Samantha VanDeman

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!

Barbara Diener added to The Chicago Project!

CEG is excited to announce our latest addition to The Chicago Project, Barbara Diener! Born in Germany in 1982, 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. Diener received critical acclaim for her series Sehnschut, and recently debuted a book of her newest series Phantom Power at Daylight Book‘s AIPAD 2018 booth.

Tracing Spirits (American Flag), 2015 © Barbara Diener
Tracing Spirits (American Flag), 2015 © Barbara Diener

From the artist: “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.

Infrared+Tree
Infared Tree, 2016 © Barbara Diener

“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.”

Hollow+Log
Hollow Log, 2017  © Barbara Diener

Diener’s work has been exhibited at Alibi Fine Art, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Hyde Park Art Center, Hyde Park, David Weinberg Gallery, New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe, Griffin Museum of Photography, Invisible Dog Gallery, Lillstreet Art Center, Riverside Art Center, Pingyao Photo Festival, The Arcade, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Darkroom Gallery, and Project Basho 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.

The artist has participated in highly ambitious artist residency programs, including the Fields Project in Oregon, IL and ACRE in Steuben, WI, as well as 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.

See more of Barbara Diener’s work on the Chicago Project website here.

__________________________________________________________

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.

Whit Forrester joins The Chicago Project!

CEG is thrilled to present our first 2018 addition to The Chicago ProjectWhit Forrester!

Fig. 12 Musa acuminata Zebrina, Chicago, IL, 2016
Fig. 12 Musa acuminata “Zebrina”, Chicago, IL, 2016 © Whit Forrester

Forrester is based in Chicago, IL. They attended Oberlin College for undergrad and received an MFA in Photography from Columbia College. They have exhibited widely, in both national and international contexts, and have 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.

Visit The Chicago Project website to see more of their work.

Fig. 47 Aloe vera, Louisville, KY, 2016
Fig. 47 Aloe vera, Louisville, KY, 2016 © Whit Forrester

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.

Fig. 72 Dracaena braunii, Chicago, IL, 2016
Fig. 72 Dracaena braunii, Chicago, IL, 2016 © Whit Forrester

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.

__________________________________________________________

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.

Jim Ferguson joins the Chicago Project!

We are excited to present the work of our newest Chicago Project artist, Jim Ferguson!

Reconstructed Space 2, 1986
Reconstructed Space 2, 1986 © Jim Ferguson

About Jim: “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 3, 2008
Reconstructed Space 3, 2008 © Jim Ferguson

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.

Reconstructed Space 5, 1986
Reconstructed Space 5, 1986 © Jim Ferguson

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.

Reconstructed Space 9, 2014
Reconstructed Space 9, 2014 © Jim Ferguson

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.

Reconstructed Space 20, 2014
Reconstructed Space 20, 2014 © Jim Ferguson

__________________________________________________________

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.

Angie McMonigal joins the Chicago Project!

We are pleased to announce our newest Chicago Project artist, Angie McMonigal!

Angie is a commercial and fine art photographer based in Chicago. The following are a selection of images from her ongoing series titled Urban Quilt, along with her artist statement. Visit The Chicago Project website to see more of her work.

Quilting The City

Two pieces of advice longtime Chicagoans love giving newcomers: first, never ask for ketchup on your hot dog; second, learn ‘the grid.’ The first piece of advice will keep you from getting publicly shamed at a hot dog joint. The second is supposed to make it possible to find any address in the city, calculate the distance between any two points, and save you from ever getting lost.

People who believe in the handiness of ‘the grid’ talk about it with reverence. They’ll expect you to express some awe when they tell you about it, so resist the urge to respond with, “Yes, but Google Maps….” The grid is not just a tool for getting around; it’s the secret code that makes order out of chaos. And yet it’s also, so they’ll tell you, very easy to understand.

Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 1.43.53 PM
Urban Quilt 8473, 2016 © Angie McMonigal

I’ll try to explain. According to the grid system, Chicago’s primary north-south and east-west streets are laid out in one-mile increments from the “zero” point downtown, where State Street crosses Madison in the Loop. Addresses run up and down from that zero point, 100 addresses per block, 8 blocks per mile. This means that each of the primary streets gets assigned a number, and those numbers go up in increments of 800. Chicago Avenue is 800 North. North Avenue is 1600 North. Fullerton is 2400 North. And so on. Going west, you have Halsted Street at 800 West, Ashland Avenue is 1600 West, and so on.

If counting by 800 is easy for you, you’re all set. And, oh, don’t forget that the first few miles south of Madison each contain an irregular number of blocks, so Roosevelt Road is actually 1200 South, Cermak is 2200, and things don’t even out until 31st Street (3100 South).

Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 2.36.48 PM
Urban Quilt 1083, 2016 © Angie McMonigal

After seventeen years of living in Chicago, I’ve successfully avoided humiliating myself at a hot dog stand, but I still don’t think I’ve completely figured out this grid. It certainly has not kept me from getting lost. But I do like the idea that there are these clean lines running through the messy city, underlying rules that make it all make sense. And I like that the rules get broken in sneaky little ways, and that just when you think you’ve got the hang of it, there’s a new complication to keep you on your toes.

Of course the lines that structure the urban landscape don’t just run north and south, east and west. In the city that built the first skyscraper, 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.

Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 1.44.14 PM
Urban Quilt 7702, 2016 © Angie McMonigal

We are surrounded by horizontal and vertical lines repeating rhythmically in steel, brick, stone, and glass. The grid is impossible to miss when you see the bold black lines of Mies van der Rohe, or the red lines of the CNA Center. Sullivan embellishes his patch of the grid with bits of gorgeous ornamentation. The Wabash Building — Roosevelt University’s new “vertical campus” — sneaks in a sleek diagonal. The Burberry shop on Michigan Avenue playfully inserts the brand’s signature tartan into the quilt.

And that’s how I’ve started to see it — 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. I see spindly fire escapes tacked on, looking like bits of stray stitching. Some blocks make clear that they were destined to be joined together, others look like accidents, or even challenging points of tension.

Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 1.44.36 PM
Urban Quilt 0119, 2016 © Angie McMonigal

We often think of photographs as capturing a single moment in time. A shutter clicks, an instant is preserved. Quilts, as I learned from my grandmother, are slow. They take hours and hours to make. They are passed down from generation to generation. A single quilt can take scraps of fabric from different eras and bring them together into a unified whole — a whole that celebrates, rather than hides, the uniqueness of each of the pieces, and the time and effort it takes to bring them together.

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. The modern lines of the Art Institute’s newest wing frame the classical details of Daniel Burnham’s Peoples Gas Building, completed across the street almost 100 years prior. It’s all stitched together now on a single plane.

Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 1.43.39 PM
Urban Quilt 8108, 2016 © Angie McMonigal

The oldest surviving Chicago skyscraper was completed in 1891, and the urban quilt contains traces of every decade since. Like every square of a quilt, each of these pieces is still in use, performing a real function in the present moment. That Peoples Gas Building from 1911 is home to a shiny new Walgreens, and you can still have lunch or take a dance lesson a few blocks away in the Fine Arts Building, which dates back to 1885.

When I look at the beautiful quilts my grandmother made, I’m transported back to rural Wisconsin where I grew up, far from the grid of the big city and the steel of Chicago’s massive skyscrapers. I’ve always loved her quilts, but they’re a product of a different place and time, and I would never have imagined making anything like that myself. But with these photographs, which have taught me to see time and space a little differently, I think I’ve found a bit of the quilter in me after all.

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.

__________________________________________________________

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.

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

Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 4.06.00 PM
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.

Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 4.05.21 PM
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.

 

 

Save