Inside the Artist’s studio with Liat Elbling

Liat’s newest pieces being prepared for framing.

Liat Elbling works in the same tradition as many photographers before her (Sandy Skoglund, Lori Nix, James Casebere) who construct entire sets for the purpose of being photographed. Liat meticulously lights her scenes, achieving a tonality that magnifies the three dimensional qualities of her constructions. The resulting images are representations of worlds wherein the viewer may not immediately distinguish fabrication from reality.


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Archetype, 2015 © Liat Elbling

In her statement, the artist explains:

“In these series, I adopted a slightly different approach, and now, rather than taking away and eliminating details from existing models, I construct and compose them in my studio, These structures are some kind of gestures to the world I surrounded by: the street, the city, the view outside my window. I employ various materials: wood, MDF, plaster, Styrofoam, cardboard, and paper, painting each ‘set’ in a solid color, which is also manifested in the printing and framing process.

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Interaction #3, 2015 © Liat Elbling

“By this actions I return to art’s basic characteristics: perspective, light and shade, exam the relationship between two-dimensionality and three-dimensionality, and encounters between materials, colors and textures. I wish to explore of course principles which are prevalent in photography – creating a replica in relation to the original, visual deceptions and disruption of space – but also am fascinated by how we can, briefly, simply, almost just ‘forget’ about the photograph.

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Untitled (Full), 2015 © Liat Elbling

“The issues I’m focusing on reflect my need to explore the medium of photography as it relates to itself, to the social order, and to other media, whether the photographs are about architectural structures, plates, or flowers; I have employed these as tools in my reflections on photography.”

Proposals for Disorder is on view through October 28, 2017. See the entire show on our website here.


Saturday at Expo Chicago

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It’s Saturday at EXPO CHICAGO! Spend this weekend enjoying the photography on view at booth 257. The fair is open until 7 pm today, and reopens again tomorrow at 10 am. Three of our eleven featured artists who we have yet to highlight are Clarissa Bonet, Serge Najjar, and Gregory Scott.

Clarissa Bonet
The concept of place, and our relationship to it, is at the heart of Clarissa Bonet’s work, who was born and raised in Tampa, Florida – a coastal port city known for its amazing climate, sports teams, national defense outposts, and healthcare businesses. While the city is currently undergoing a population growth, it used to be a quiet place dominated by the warm gulf water.  In 2010, Bonet moved to Chicago to attend graduate school at Columbia College Chicago. She immediately noticed the density of the city, its people, and its traffic. As she wandered the city, she was stunned by the isolation she felt among the throngs of people rushing along the sidewalks. It was this feeling that led her to City Space, an ongoing body of work about individuality in a large city.

Fortress, 2016 © Clarissa Bonet

Walking for hours, Bonet uses her phone to photograph the interactions between people, architecture and light. Later, she would revisit these places and recreate the feeling she had first experienced, hiring models to play specific roles at the precise time of day when the light was perfect. The resulting photographs are carefully staged memories that appear to be snapshots of everyday city life. As she states: “The urban space is striking. Its tall and mysterious buildings, crowds of anonymous people, and endless sea of concrete constantly intrigue me. The images I create provide a personal interpretation of the urban landscape.”

Serge Najjar
Five years ago Serge Najjar started photographing the interaction of people and architecture in his native Beirut. Influenced by the work of Kazimir Malevich, Josef Albers, Ellsworth Kelly, Frank Stella, and Alexander Rodchenko, Najjar took to the streets, focusing his lens on daily routines: construction workers sitting on a building ledge during lunch break, the sharp lines of a high-rise facade, a man looking out an open window, and children sitting on a windowsill. Whether working in Beirut, Munich or other places he visits, Najjar’s vision is unwavering – to show other people what they may not see themselves.

As he states: “There is no such thing as an ideal place to photograph, or an ideal city. Architecture inspires me, but my whole approach towards photography is to focus on what people consider as common… the people I photograph are complete strangers. I never plan where I go and what or who to shoot. My images are faithful to what I see. And every single Saturday morning I am convinced that I will never capture the picture I had the chance to capture the week before…. It is a thin line between the ugly and the beautiful, the ordinary and the extraordinary, between chaos and order.”

Gregory Scott
In 2008, upon graduating with an MFA from Indiana University, Gregory Scott stunned the art world with his mixed-media video works that combined installation, photography, performance, video and painting. As more and more artists blur the lines between medias, Scott has taken the idea to a whole new level, presenting video-based wall pieces that are humorous and poignant, contemplative yet accessible. Symbolic, 2017 is Scott’s most detailed piece to date.

Gregory Scott builds sets in his studio that serve as his subject. In these sets, he records himself performing a variety of scenarios that are then edited into 6-10 minute videos. The sets are then photographed, and the resulting wall piece is a mounted photograph with a cut out for a monitor on which a video plays, and a painted element appears on the photographic surface. In each video, he shows how he constructed the set that he photographed, breaking down the barrier between maker and viewer. All of the hardware is attached to the inside of the frame, making his works self-contained.

Continuing to use himself as the model, Scott creates narrative pieces that reference specific artists (Mark Rothko, James Turrell, Cy Twombly, Frank Stella) that have had an impact on his life. Using illusion and surprise, he challenges the definitions placed on photography, painting and video, expanding its discourse and creating a dialogue with the viewer.

You can see all the photographs on view at Booth #257 on our website here.
Read more about CEG’s EXPO 2017 programming
featured on Chicagoist and The Reader.

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

Saturday, September 16
11:00 – 7:00 pm

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

For tickets and more information about the fair, visit
Follow along with us this week on InstagramFacebookTwitter and here on Cyclopsblog!


Portraits big and small

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It’s been a great first few days at EXPO CHICAGO! If you haven’t visited booth 257 at Navy Pier, make your way there today. We are thrilled to be featuring eleven artists, four of whom explore contemporary portraiture in the photographs we have on view.

Dan Estabrook
For more than 30 years, Dan Estabrook’s (b. 1969 Boston, MA) work has been at the intersection of yesterday and today. Working with salt prints, calotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes, Estabrook creates art that echoes his life, loves, desires and fears. Like many practitioners before him, he turns the camera on himself to make contemporary works inspired by the gap between today’s photographic perfection and the past’s technical limitations.

As he states:  “Using 19th-century techniques and celebrating their flaws and failures, I make seemingly anonymous photographs in order to re-imagine a more personal and dream-like history of photography, seen from a 21st-century perspective. With these processes, I can create my own ‘found photos’ – highly personal objects in which to hide my own secrets and stories.”

Omar Imam
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.

Live, Love, Refugee 2015

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.

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Sandro Miller
At the age of sixteen, upon seeing the work of Irving Penn, Sandro Miller (b. 1958, Elgin) 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.

My Hair, My Soul, My Freedom is a celebration of the diversity, artistry, and power of black women’s hair. This project is about highlighting the many ways in which black women embrace their freedom of choice and express their creativity through their hair, no matter the style or texture, whether they wear braids, dreadlocks, weaves, or whether they wear it natural or straightened. With each portrait in this ongoing project, Sandro seeks to recognize and honor black women’s power and beauty while celebrating blackness and black lives.

Bettina von Zwehl
Bettina von Zwehl was born in Munich in 1971 and received an MA from the Royal College of Art (RCA), London, in 1999. She has built her international reputation on subtle and distinctive photographic portraits. As her practice has developed, she has continued to seek out different ways of exploring the form; from her early works, most often defined by the exacting conditions she imposed on her subjects, to her most recent projects which reprise the tradition of the painted portrait miniature of both, people and dogs.

Her ongoing pre-occupation with the miniature was inspired during her six months as Artist in Residence at the Victoria & Albert Museum in 2011. 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.

You can see all the photographs on view at Booth #257 on our website here.
Read more about CEG’s EXPO 2017 programming
featured on Chicagoist and The Reader.

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

Friday, September 15 through Saturday, September 16
11:00 – 7:00 pm

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

For tickets and more information about the fair, visit
Follow along with us this week on InstagramFacebookTwitter and here on Cyclopsblog!


The colors of booth 257

Today is the first full day of EXPO CHICAGO! Thank you to everyone who attended opening night, it was great to see so many familiar faces. We had a wonderful start to the week.

Gregory Scott in front of his new piece Symbolic, 2017
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Sandro in front of his series My Hair, My Soul, My Freedom

CEG is excited to be featuring eleven artists at EXPO this year. Photographs by Daniel Beltrá, Liat Elbling, Laurent Millet, and Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison make it hard to walk by booth 257 without noticing their vivid color.

Daniel Beltrá
Born in Madrid, Spain, Daniel Beltrá is a photographer based in Seattle, Washington. His passion for conservation is evident in images of our environment that are evocatively poignant. His striking, large-scale photographs are all shot from the air. This perspective gives the viewer a wider context to the beauty and destruction he witnesses, as well as revealing a delicate sense of scale.

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Amazon scarlet ibis (#222), 2017 © by Daniel Beltrá

Over the past two decades, Beltrá’s work has taken him to all seven continents, including several expeditions to the Brazilian Amazon, the Arctic, the Southern Oceans and the Patagonian ice fields. In 2009, Beltrá received the prestigious Prince’s Rainforest Project award granted by Prince Charles. Other highlights include the BBVA Foundation award in 2013 and the inaugural “Global Vision Award” from the Pictures of the Year International in 2008. In 2007 and 2006 he received awards for his work in the Amazon from World Press Photo. Daniel’s work has been published by the most prominent international publications including The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, Le Monde, and El Pais, amongst many others.

Liat Elbling
Like many still-life photographers, Liat Elbling cuts, tapes and assembles objects on a table, condensing or expanding the physical space through meticulous lighting. Her current solo show at CEG, 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.”

Laurent Millet
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. Photographs from his series La Méthode, La Chasse, and La Cabanes are on view at booth 257.

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La Méthode #21, 2001 © Laurent Millet
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La Méthode #53, 2001 © Laurent Millet
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La Méthode #31, 2001 © Laurent Millet

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.”

Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison
Much has been written about Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison, the husband and wife duo who met as students in New Mexico. She was studying dance and metalsmithing, while he was focused on photography. Within a few years of graduating, they gained instant recognition for their collaborative works that presented constructed and choreographed scenarios about mans effect on the landscape.

Riverview, 2015
Riverview, 2015 © Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison

More than twenty years later, the artists are still dedicated to the environment, showing us the power of nature, and the effect our actions have on it. By creating environments specifically to photograph, the artists address issues about the earth and our responsibility to heal the damage we’ve created, while investigating the human condition. This ideology has remained a constant, and is why they are so greatly admired.

You can see all the photographs on view at Booth #257 on our website here.

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

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

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

For tickets and more information about the fair, visit
Follow along with us this week on InstagramFacebookTwitter and here on Cyclopsblog!

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
Follow along with us this week on InstagramFacebookTwitter and here on Cyclopsblog!

CEG arrives at Navy Pier

We are thrilled to be back at Navy Pier for EXPO CHICAGO 2017! Our artwork is being unpacked and installed as we prepare for opening night tomorrow. Expect to see new work debuting from Daniel Beltrá, Clarissa Bonet, Sandro Miller, Gregory Scott, and Bettina von Zwehl. Here’s a preview of booth #257 as install gets underway!

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EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art, has established the city of Chicago as a preeminent art fair destination. The Vernissage Opening Night Benefit, presented by the Women’s Board benefiting Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, will take place tomorrow night–Wednesday, September 13–from 6:00 – 9:00 pm. Follow along with us this week on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and here on Cyclopsblog!

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

Ctrl+P: Photography taken offline – Christine Erhard

The photographs by our newest Ctrl+P artist Christine Erhard play with perception. This technique is extended beyond the photographic print and into the spaces where her work is exhibited. DOBRA IV is installed to the artist’s exact specifications, following a building edge in the image. Her installation will be on view through October 28, 2017.

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DOBRA IV, 2014 © Christine Erhard

Erhard creates photographic works that evolve out of a sculptural process. The concept for a new photograph begins with a found image, sometimes historical, taken from the field of architecture or art. She layers cardboard models, diverse everyday objects, or constructs objects to be photographed on top of the found image.

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DOBRA IV, installation view

Although the spaces in Erhard’s photographs appear to be extremely heterogeneous and broken, the images are not photomontages in the conventional sense. The photographs bear witness to a sculptural process that takes place in the studio. The disparate materials, lines of sight and levels of reality are in actual, physical contact with each other. Anamorphic models – models that have been constructed for a specific camera viewpoint, appearing distorted when another viewpoint is adopted – are integral to this process.

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Christine Erhard (b. 1969 Crailsheim, Germany) lives in Düsseldorf, Germany. She studied sculpture at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Christine has exhibited widely in both Germany and internationally. Solo shows include The Zweigstelle Gallery in Berlin, Galerie Adler in Frankfurt, the Baden-Württemberg Art Foundation in Stuttgart, the Goethe Institute in Milan, the Museum Muller Collection in Wiesbaden, and the High Street Project gallery in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Christine Erhard’s website
Lens Culture
Yellow Trace

TroikaEditions on Youtube

Ctrl+P: Photography taken offline is an initiative at Catherine Edelman Gallery inspired by the hundreds of photographs we see on blogs and online galleries. Started in January 2011, Ctrl+P provides further exposure for 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.