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Cristina Mittermeier, Paul Nicklen: Evolve

From October 01, 2022 to March 23, 2023
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Cristina Mittermeier, Paul Nicklen: Evolve
716 N. Wells St.
Chicago, IL 60654
As the world and its inhabitants adapt with the ebb and flow of constant change, so too, does an artist’s view. From a birds-eye view of the meandering formations of the Colorado River that mimic patterns of branching trees and human lungs; to the lushness of what looks like an underwater painting celebrating the layers of life beneath the water’s surface; from the frozen Canadian tundra to the warm and lively waters of Baja Sur; all are connected, as we all are also connected. EVOLVE eloquently pairs the artist’s journey as witness and passionate defender with the natural resilience and determination of a planet on which all life must coexist.

Image: © Paul Nicklen
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Exhibitions Closing Soon

Spandita Malik: Jāḷī - Meshes of Resistance
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art | Kansas City, MO
From July 06, 2023 to February 24, 2024
International photographer and social practice artist Spandita Malik (Indian, born 1995) collaborates with women across North Indian states to create embroidered portraits that embody and empower their subjects. For Malik’s first solo museum exhibition, Spandita Malik: Jāḷī—Meshes of Resistance, the artist expands upon her photographic series Nā́rī, a project that she began as a graduate student at Parsons School of Design in 2019. For Nā́rī, she traveled to small communities in India known for their distinct embroidery styles and places where women learn handicraft to gain financial independence. Malik met with women who are part of self-help groups for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence and requested permission to document them within their homes or personal spaces. Each woman was invited to embroider her own portrait and claim agency over her portrayal. In the years following, the women connected with each other and Malik over phone calls and group chats, where they were able to deepen their relationships and form a greater support system. The word jāḷī is recognized across many languages with roots in Sanskrit, referring to the openwork that appears in architecture, metalwork, and embroidery. Here jāḷī refers to an openwork stitch that produces a fine mesh structure or the appearance of a net. Within the context of Malik’s exhibition, jāḷī also transforms into an expansive metaphor that uplifts networks and communities, particularly those formed among women with shared experiences. Produced in dialogue with many collaborators, Malik’s portrait series showcases the unique preferences, desires, and fears of the individual women who comprise the collective, nurturing a symbiotic relationship between group and self-expression. Image: Rukmesh Kumari IV, 2023 © Spandita Malik
If Memory Serves: Photography, Recollections and Vision: Honoring Aline Smithson
Brand Library and Art Center | Glendale, CA
From December 16, 2023 to February 24, 2024
Artists: Safi Alia Shabaik, Elizabeth Bailey, Dena Elisabeth Eber, Sarah Hadley, Diane Hemingway, Rohina Hoffman, Susan Lapides, Annette LeMay Burke, Annie Omens, Lori Ordover, Aurora Wilder Collective (Jennifer Pritchard in collaboration with Patrick Corrigan and DALL-E), Aline Smithson, Rosalie Rosenthal Our hard drives may fail. Our phones might break. We may forget an image that was once cemented in our minds. Our relationships with images and devices that hold our memories define how we understand our position in the world. If Memory Serves emerges from the moments those devices fail us, our recollections betray us and our pictures refuse to bring back the people they once captured. This exhibition emerges from the intersection of our haunting pasts, possible futures, and our connections to photographic images, technologies and the systems that ask to speak for our photographs. The projects included here invite the viewers to immerse in transitions and transformations, in discomfort, in the borderlines between vision and sense, knowing and unknowing. At the same time, these works refuse nostalgia in its depoliticized state. These projects are defined by the viewpoint and lived experiences of their creators: female-identified, immigrants, descendants of inherited traumas, caregivers, providers. Photography is key to efforts to claim visibility, capture narratives and elicit conversations about the lives of vulnerable bodies and communities. The works on view are opening points, a threshold, for a conversation that should never be silenced, a conversation that is concerned with the conditions of its production – the present and future of photography – as it is concerned with its political, social and personal content. The exhibition begins with and honors Aline Smithson, a mentor, photographer and educator, whose work with artists is redefining photographic practice. If Memory Serves celebrates her immense contribution to photography and further comments upon the reach of her stewardship and pedagogy. The participating artists have all been studying with and from her. Seen together, their works offer profound insight into our co-existence with photography, suggesting meeting points between personal experiences and broader societal issues and conflicts – from privacy to grief, from representation to immigration.
Sean McFarland: Alluvial Fan, Strange Attractor
Casemore Gallery | San Francisco, CA
From January 13, 2024 to February 24, 2024
Casemore Gallery is pleased to present Alluvial Fan, Strange Attractor, an exhibition of works by Sean McFarland including the artist’s first-ever large-scale sculpture. In this new exhibition, McFarland continues his investigation of the interplay, deep complexity, and beauty of the earth as a system, creating a place for us to think about how all is interconnected, including ourselves. McFarland’s large-scale photograph Eureka Valley, 2022-2023, shows an abundance of distant alluvial fans across a vast desert landscape, marking where water flowed down mountains to the basin and radiated outward. The deposited sediment creates forms of intricate, branching channels and patterns which appear to replicate at varying scales. In Geology Illustrated, John S. Shelton writes, “The fan is a monument to the death of the stream that builds it.” Working from a self-generated archive comprising tens of thousands of items, McFarland’s practice is a continuous revisiting of site, image, object, and experience. Materials such as silver gelatin prints, cyanotypes, drawings, rocks, desert sage dust, and glass are combined to make photographs, collage, and sculpture. The resulting works are at once a meditation on place, phenomena, how we are present and how we remember. The collective works in the exhibition act as a narrative of the strange attractor – a unique and unpredictable dance that certain systems perform over time. One such attractor, the Lorenz attractor, is a set of chaotic solutions used in describing the butterfly effect, the phenomena in chaos theory when one small event, like the flapping of a butterfly’s wing, can produce a dramatic outcome in a complex system like the weather. Over time, the flight of a butterfly may alter snowfall or cloud cover, affecting the flow of water down mountains and the form of the alluvial fan. The mountains and deserts of California are the primary setting for intricate framed collages, inkjet prints, cyanotypes measuring the sky and clouds, a 13-hour photographic rock clock and a large sculpture. Sean McFarland (California, 1976) received a MFA from California College of the Arts, Oakland (2004) and a BS from Humboldt State University, Arcata, California (2002). His solo exhibitions include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA (2017); Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, New York (2015); San Francisco Camerawork, San Francisco (2009), and White Columns, New York (2004). His work has been included in group exhibitions at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA (2018); George Eastman Museum, Rochester (2016); Aperture, New York (2014-15); and Bay Area Now 6, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2011). His work is in the permanent collections at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; George Eastman Museum; and the Milwaukee Art Museum. McFarland has received numerous awards, including the SECA Award from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2017), the Eureka Fellowship (2011), the Baum Award for an Emerging American Photographer (2009), and the John Gutmann Photography Fellowship (2009). He lives in San Francisco and teaches at the School of Art at San Francisco State University.
Douglas Kirkland: A Life in Pictures
Fahey/Klein Gallery | Los Angeles, CA
From January 11, 2024 to February 24, 2024
The Fahey/Klein Gallery is honored to present Douglas Kirkland: A Life In Pictures. This retrospective exhibition of photographs is a tribute to Kirkland’s prolific career and celebrates his ability to capture the essence of iconic personalities through his unique lens. This exhibition includes a diverse selection of works, spanning from his early career to his most renowned portraits. Throughout his six-decade career, Kirkland photographed some of the most legendary personalities in Hollywood, including Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Charlie Chaplin, and more, often revealing the human side behind the celebrity facade. His ability to establish a genuine connection with his subjects has defined his portraiture, resulting in images that resonate with depth and authenticity. Whether portraying Marilyn Monroe wrapped in bedsheets or Brigitte Bardot playing cards on the floor, his portraits position legends in fun, intimate settings. From moments of joy and triumph to vulnerability and introspection, he captures their essence in a way that transforms them into enduring symbols, perpetuating their legendary status. Douglas Kirkland was born in Toronto and raised in Fort Erie, Ontario. After studying at the New York Institute of Photography, Kirkland returned to Canada and later relocated to Virginia to work as a commercial photographer. While there, he wrote three letters to the influential fashion photographer Irving Penn, seeking employment. In 1957, Mr. Penn hired him as his assistant. Shortly after, while still in his early twenties, Kirkland joined Look Magazine and later Life Magazine during the golden age of 1960’s and 1970’s photojournalism. His career as a leading celebrity photographer launched when he photographed Elizabeth Taylor for the cover of Look Magazine’s August 1961 issue. For the remainder of his career, Kirkland was a freelancer for various publications, Hollywood studios, and advertising agencies. Through the years, Kirkland worked on the sets of over one hundred motion pictures. Among them, “The Sound of Music”, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Out of Africa”, “Sophie’s Choice,” “Rain Man”, “Titanic”, and several Baz Luhrmann films, starting with “Moulin Rouge!” in 2001. Kirkland was the recipient of multiple awards, among which a Lucie Award in 2003 for Outstanding Achievement in Entertainment Photographs, and in 2011 he received the American Society of Cinematographers’ Presidents Award in recognition for his series of portraits of cinematographers for the “On Film” advertising campaign for Kodak. In 2017, the Canadian Consul General in Los Angeles honored him with the Award of Excellence for his lifetime of outstanding achievements. His work is in the permanent collections of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts, the Smithsonian, the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra Australia, the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Eastman House in Rochester and the Houston Center for Photography. Kirkland died peacefully at home in Los Angeles on October 2, 2022. He was 88 years old.
WITHOUT A LENS: Jacqueline Walters and Max Kellenberger
Corden Potts at Chung 24 Gallery | San Francisco, CA
From January 25, 2024 to February 24, 2024
About Learning Mandarin and the Language of Lumens "When I began learning Mandarin little did I realize how it would inform my artistic vision. This became evident when I began to experiment with Lumen printing. With the former, I discovered how a seemingly endless permutation of lines, dots, and dashes written within an imaginary square formed meaning through simple and complex forms. With the latter, my thoughts shifted from acquisition of craft to learning a language. In my Lumen prints, instead of ink, I used various biological materials to form bold strokes and elegant lines or whispers of dots and dashes. The imaginary square was transformed into rectangles or other shapes defining the space. The written language is both a means of communication and the art form that is calligraphy. Just as the defining characteristics of the calligrapher’s hand suggests a personality, so too each paper I use reveals a different latent color as if speaking to the personality of the paper. My project, “Learning Mandarin and the Language of Lumens,” is about learning a process that harkens back to photography’s beginnings, influenced by the visual poetry and rhythmic grace of an old writing system." -- Jacqueline Walters
Pretty in Pink
Gray Loft Gallery | Oakland, CA
From January 20, 2024 to February 24, 2024
Pretty in Pink is the 6th in a series of annual color themed photo exhibits at Gray Loft Gallery. Pink, often associated with love, warmth, compassion, hope and creativity, holds a special place in our visual and emotional spectrum as pink carries a myriad of meanings and emotions. On view will be a dynamic group photography show with an impressive collection of elegant and vibrant shades of pink. Images on view include mixed media, alternative processes, color imagery and hand-colored photographs. Juried by Ann Jastrab, Executive Director, Center for Photographic Art; and Jan Watten, founder, Gray Loft Gallery. Participating Artists Golnaz Abdoli, Stephen Albair, Caren Alpert, Laurel Anderson, Francis Baker, Janet Beaty,Ingrid Becker, Bonnie Blake-Drucker, Rose Borden, Janis Burger, Kimberley Campisano, Ginnie Chabre, Marna G. Clarke, Sas Colby, Kimberly Cortigiano, Tony DeVarco, Gene Dominique, Allyson Ely ,Susan Felter, Diane Fenster ,Robel Fessehatzion, Raena Frohlich, Ashley Gates, J. M. Golding, Steve Goldband & Ellen Konar, John Greenleigh, Marsha Guggenheim, Gary Hauser, Edie Hoffman, Ann Holsberry, Christine Huhn, Judi Iranyi, Josie Iselin, Candice Jacobus, Bill Johnston Jr, Nadine Levin, Kendra Luck, Sonia Melnikova-Raich, Melina Meza, Charles Moulton, Steve Napoli, Julia Nelson-Gal, Fletcher Oakes, Eben Ostby, Peter R. Paluzzi, Ginny Parsons, Anne Morrison Rabe, Malcolm Ryder, Jenny Sampson, Matty Sarubbi, Ron Moultrie Saunders, Jr, Neocles Serafimidis, Scott Sidorsky, Dean Snodgrass, Ari Salomon, Alex Starfield, Douglas G. Stinson, Michael Teresko, Lisa Toby, Marcy Voyevod, Sally Weber, Rusty Weston, Susan West, Stephanie Williamson, Nick Winkworth, Yelena Zhavoronkova
Dawoud Bey: Elegy
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts | Richmond, VA
From November 18, 2023 to February 25, 2024
Mesmerizing and evocative, these 50 photographs and two film installations by contemporary American artist Dawoud Bey contemplate landscapes in Virginia, Louisiana, and Ohio as deeply profound repositories of memory and witnesses to American history. Internationally renowned for his Harlem Street scenes and expressive portraits, Bey has turned his camera lens toward geographic locations that have historical significance. In Dawoud Bey: Elegy, landscape photographs and film installations with immersive sound elements engage the imagination, facilitating an experiential shift from mere viewer to active participant. Individually and collectively, the works in the exhibition bridge factual and imagined realities, resulting in a moving and visceral art experience. Organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and curated by Valerie Cassel Oliver, Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Dawoud Bey: Elegy showcases three photographic series. Visitors will first encounter Stony the Road (2023), commissioned by VMFA, which takes viewers to the historic trail in Richmond, Virginia, where Africans arrived in bondage to an unknown land and were walked into enslavement. The photographs in In This Here Place (2021) contemplate the plantations of Louisiana and the toils and horrors of enslavement. Photographed in Ohio, Night Coming Tenderly, Black (2017) elucidates our understanding of the Underground Railroad and the perilous flight to self-emancipation. The first film installation, 350,000, evokes the 350,000+ men, women, and children sold from Richmond’s auction blocks at Manchester Docks between 1830 and 1860. The film’s soundtrack features Richmond-based professor of dance Dr. Elgie Sherrod. Visitors will also experience Evergreen, a three-channel film installation created in collaboration with ethnomusicologist Imani Uzuri, whose vocals add a haunting soundscape. Image: Untitled (Trail and Trees) from the series Stony the Road, 2022 © Dawoud Bey
Jane Feely: Fragmented
Perspective Gallery | Chicago, IL
From February 02, 2024 to February 25, 2024
At the same time as Jane was coming to terms with her father’s dementia diagnosis, her mother presented her with a box of items she’d saved from her childhood. It held an eclectic mix of old birthday cards, school reports, letters from pen pals, even ticket stubs from her first concerts. Hidden in that box were four small diaries from her teenage years, of which she had no recollection. This discovery, coinciding as it did with her father’s own struggles with memory, highlighted for her the elusive, fleeting nature of what we remember. It made her acutely aware of how fragmented her own memories have become over time, almost like finding pieces of a jigsaw puzzle but not knowing exactly where they fit. Some of her memories are indistinct, and she finds herself mentally squinting to bring them into focus. Others she sees clearly in her mind, yet the wider context of the event, people or location evades her. For her, photography and memories are inextricably linked. She has always used images to record what she wishes to remember. Now she also makes images that prompt her to say, “Oh, that reminds me of …” “Fragmented” melds these trigger images with hazy snippets of childhood memories and old family photos, sparking a personal, emotional journey into her past.
The 5th Chelsea International Photography Competition
Agora Gallery | New York, NY
From February 20, 2024 to February 27, 2024
Agora Gallery is pleased to announce The Chelsea International Photography Competition Exhibition, a juried exhibition of contemporary photographs by local and international artists. This is the 5th edition of our annual photography exhibition, which provides a select group of photographers with the opportunity to showcase their work in the heart of Chelsea, New York’s premier art district. The winners were handpicked among hundreds of international and local applicants by an esteemed panel of jurors. The judging committee is comprised of Angela Ferreira and David Campany. Ferreira is an artist, curator, researcher, and educator from Portugal. She has lectured on contemporary photography throughout Europe and Latin America and curated exhibitions internationally, including the Beijing Photography Biennale and the Photography Museum in Fortaleza, Brazil. Currently, she is a professor at Escola de Comunicação Arte e Cultura in São Paulo, Brazil. Campany is a curator, writer, broadcaster, editor, and educator, whose prior collaborations include MoMA, Tate, Centre Pompidou, International Center of Photography, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and many other institutions worldwide. The exhibition will run from February 20 to 27, 2024 with an opening reception on Thursday, February 22, 6-8 PM.
(In)directions: Queerness in Chinese Contemporary Photography
Eli Klein Gallery | New York, NY
From November 18, 2023 to February 29, 2024
Artists: Mengwen Cao, Chi Peng, Whiskey Chow, Alec Dai, Fang Daqi, Tommy Kha, Amiko Li, Liao Jiaming, Pixy Liao, Lin Zhipeng (No.223), Ren Light Pan, Beatrix Pang, Kanthy Peng, Ren Hang, Shen Wei, Leonard Suryajaya, Tseng Kwong Chi, Xu Guanyu, Yang Bowei, Zhang Zhidong, William Zou Eli Klein Gallery is honored to present “(In)directions: Queerness in Chinese Contemporary Photography” a group exhibition of 21 artists who see queerness as a possibility, embracing the imaginative even when the status quo might otherwise be limiting. The title acknowledges that the means through which each artist expresses this notion takes a variety of modes in the photographic medium, at times boldly and directly celebrating the beauty of queer bodies and at other times obliquely gesturing, winking, or suggesting that another reality is at play. This range of photographic expressions of queerness is similar to common understandings of discursive approaches in Chinese culture, from the artfully indirect to the abundantly explicit. The show brings together the present and future, a spectrum of genders and sexualities, questions and expressions of identities and beliefs, assertions about kinship and belonging, and complications and affirmations about cultural sensibilities into a critical conversation facilitated by photographic images that document, celebrate, complicate, invite, expose, question, and destabilize. With a diverse group of artists showcasing a broad reach of works in the exhibition, we wish to entice our viewers to “queer” any one of the following terms: Queerness, Chinese, Contemporary, and Photography - What is queer photography? What is Chinese queerness? What would a queered contemporary look like? With works that embody their consciousness and explore the journey of self-discovery, Chi Peng, Mengwen Cao, and Leonard Suryajaya invite the audience to peer into the metamorphosis of fluid identities. William Zou, Xu Guanyu, and Tommy Kha, on the other hand, unveil pockets of belonging and becoming by capturing fragmented and layered moments within spatial and temporal contexts, while Tseng Kwong Chi explores the playful juxtaposition of truth, fiction, and identity through his persona of a Chinese "Ambiguous Ambassador” merged with the natural landscape to queer the boundaries between self and environment. The body is likewise explored as a site of performance (and performativity), as works by Whiskey Chow and Pixy Liao investigate, by challenging traditional gender norms and negotiating with art history in the context of media and sexual expression. Lin Zhipeng (No.223) and Shen Wei also capture the diversified nature of desire and memory through intimate portrayals of the body. The variety of bodies depicted reminds us that queerness is lived, inhabited, created, and celebrated by queer people, that bodies inspire wonder and challenge limiting regimes of the normal. Meanwhile, Zhang Zhidong and Amiko Li evoke vivid sensations in their work to illustrate the liminal spaces of intimacy and construct rich narratives for the overlooked, eroticized, or politicized. The works of Kanthy Peng and Ren Light Pan too, provide a sensual glimpse into queerness in all its contradiction - tender, yet tense; concealed, yet revealing. Queerness resists definition. It embraces associations and overpasses boundaries. It reaches rather than posits; joins instead of announcing; seduces without a prerequisite RSVP. The unique queer experiences are documented and highlighted in the works of Yang Bowei, Fang Daqi and Beatrix Peng, giving form to personal, illustrative perspectives. Works by Ren Hang and Alec Dai present the intersection of queer and Asian-American identities as well as sexuality and beauty, challenging the traditional conservative artistic expression existing in contemporary Chinese culture. Liao Jiaming’s works also record the queer experience; his photobook recounts his personal thoughts and experience as a gay man through visual narratives and is tailored specifically for the exhibition. Curated by Phil Zheng Cai and Douglas Ray at Eli Klein Gallery, this exhibition hopes to intrigue the audience to consider how a queered topographic approach could bend what appeared to be “Queerness in Chinese Contemporary Photography” into a mesh of “Queerness, Chinese, Contemporary, and Photography,” indirectionally. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog with an essay by Phil Zheng Cai and an essay by Douglas Ray. The exhibition catalog also features Tommy Kha’s interview with Ren Hang in 2016.
My Mother’s Tender Script by Asiya Al. Sharabi
All About Photo Showroom | Los Angeles, CA
From February 01, 2024 to February 29, 2024
All About Photo is pleased to present 'My Mother's Tender Script' by Asiya Al. Sharabi Part of the exclusive online showroom developed by All About Photo, this exhibition is on view for the month of February 2024 and includes twenty photographs from the series ‘My Mother's Tender Script' My Mother's Tender Script In 'My Mother's Tender Script,' series I delve into the poignant narrative woven by my late mother through her humble phone notebook. Born into a world that allowed her no childhood, she married at the tender age of 11, bereaved by widowhood at 15, and remarried my father at 17. Her story, shaped by hardship and early responsibilities, echoes resilience and determination. Despite a lack of formal education, my mother found solace and expression in the kitchen, where she passionately honed her culinary skills, particularly in making bread. It was amidst the warmth of the hearth and the kneading of dough that her early story unfolded.. In contrast, my father, an erudite writer and journalist, led a life adorned with education and cultural experiences. A world away from my mother's, his path was adorned with receptions, travels around the globe, and literary engagements. Perhaps my mother sought a convergence, a meeting at a crossroads. She meticulously maintained her phone notebook, her personal treasure trove of contacts and thoughts. She adorned herself with fashionable attire and practiced writing and drawings in her notebook, expressing her longing for connection.. In making "My Mother! 's Tender Script," I transformed a black-and-white print from the late 1970s into an enlarged negative. I infused her delicate drawings and writings from the phone notebook, seamlessly incorporating them before employing the resino-pigmentype technique, invented in the mid-nineteenth century.. This creative endeavor isn't merely about replicating the past; it's a tribute to the resilience, struggles, and enduring legacy of my mother's indomitable spirit..
W. Eugene Smith: A Life in Pictures
Center for Creative Photography | Tucson, AZ
From September 02, 2023 to March 02, 2024
In 1978, Life magazine photojournalist W. Eugene Smith died at age 59 in Tucson, Arizona where he had moved the year before. He left behind a vast and rich archive of correspondence, his own research material, negatives, proof prints, and audio recordings. The Center for Creative Photography is presenting 45 of Smith’s photographs as an opportunity to think about what conditions promote interdisciplinary engagement. Drawn from five series: World War II, Nurse Midwife, Jazz Loft, Hitachi Corporation, and Minamata, Smith’s work will be presented with archival material that helps expand consideration of his practice beyond an art historical lens, connecting his photographs to other fields and disciplines. Image: ​W. Eugene Smith, Fishing in Minamata Bay, ​ca. 1972, ​​W. Eugene Smith Archive/Gift of Aileen M. Smith © Aileen Mioko Smith
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