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Columbia College Chicago
Faculty Publications

Faculty Publications


2011



Kelli Connell - Double Life              horiz rule     


Double Life
Kelli Connell

Text by Susan Bright
Interview by Dawoud Bey
80 pages | 36 color illustrations | 12-1/4" x 9-1/2"

Published August 2011

 












     The portraits of Kelli Connell (born 1974) appear to document a relationship between two women. Their idiom looks familiar: a young couple caught up in everyday moments of pleasure and reflection-a picnic in the park, playing pool in a bar, taking a bubble bath together. The first flicker of unease comes as soon as the viewer registers the similarity of the two subjects, who seem to be twins-and incestuous twins at that. In fact, Connell has photographed the same model portraying both of the women and then digitally combined the two images so seamlessly that not a trace remains of their construction. Connell has been at the forefront of artists using digital technologies for the past decade, but her art is not about Photoshop, and the photographs in Double Life extend far beyond their duplicity into larger and more complex issues of identity and visual rhetoric. Connell has a canny eye for the documentary look, as she tells an interviewer: “I tried to infuse my images with the sorts of subtle portrait techniques that made for powerful documentary photos, hoping to figure out how to make my work look more like true documentation of two women in a scene, even though they have never been together at the same time.” 


 


Colleen Plumb - The Animals Are Ouside Today              horiz rule     


The Animals Are Outside Today
Colleen Plumb

Text by Lisa Hostetler 
128 pages | 74 color illustrations | 9" x 10"

Published July 2011

 












     Animals Are Outside Today examines relationships between humans and animals, studying how animals are woven through the fabric of culture. Living and dead, real and fake, as displays or companions, these images investigate our ambivalence or perhaps multivalent attitudes towards animals, exposing both our kinship and disjuncture from other creatures of this Earth. Henry Beston stated regarding animals in The Outermost House in 1928: “They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.”
     Animals Are Outside Today is a journey examining underneath this net, offering us the chance to contemplate our intersections with animals. Contradictions define our relationships with animals. We love and admire them; we are entertained and fascinated by them; we take our children to watch and learn about them. Animals are embedded within core human history—evident in our stories, rituals and symbols. At the same time, we eat, wear and cage them with seeming indifference, consuming them in countless ways. Our connection to animals today is often developed through assimilation and appropriation; we absorb them into our lives, yet we no longer know of their origin. Most people are cut off from the steps involved in their processing or acquisition, shielded from witnessing their death or decay. This book moves within these contradictions, always questioning if the notion of sacred will survive alongside our evolution.


 

Tom Burtonwood - Composition 2              horiz rule     


Composition 2 / Color Studies
Tom Burtonwood

120 pages

Published July 2011

 












     Composition 2 is a series of 100 paintings produced sequentially, each one created on an identical matrix. The geometric composition is conceptually equivalent to the source code one might use in a computer program or web site. An identical visual framework is deployed to create many variations through simple modulations of hue and saturation. From a process of repetition and experimentation the phenomena of color is revealed to the viewer through many different outcomes.


  


Melissa Pinney - Girl Ascending              horiz rule     


Girl Ascending
Melissa Ann Pinney

140 pages | 60 color plates | 11-1/4" x 10"

Published February 2011

 












     “For nearly thirty years, Melissa Ann Pinney has been making photographs of girls and women, from infancy to old age, to portray how feminine identity is constructed, taught, and communicated. Pinney’s work depicts not only the rites of American womanhood, but also the informal passages of girlhood and adolescence. With each view—from solitary subjects in pensive moments to complex family and social situations—we gain a greater understanding of the connections between a daughter and her parents, grandparents, and the larger world of friends and society. Many of the images are epiphanies, in which the ordinary reveals an underlying significance. Thus, the passage of time, the cycle of the seasons, and young girls’ friendships and ties to the elders who guide them all capture Pinney’s attention. The pictures reflect the ways in which a girl’s world in 2010 differs from the world Pinney knew growing up in the 1960s and the ways in which the formation of self can transcend time and place. Girl Ascending is a sequel to Pinney’s widely praised first book, Regarding Emma: Photographs of American Women and Girls. Of that previous book Janina Ciezaldo wrote in Aperture: “Pinney brings compositional integrity, knowledge of color, and a Midwestern richness of light to her inquiries…” These new photographs are even more accomplished, mature, and stylistically consistent. As David Travis, in his introduction, writes: “Infusing two worlds of being a girl and being a mother, or musing upon and understanding the visual properties of appearances, Pinney has regained that sense of wonder, making her view of girls ascending into young women both believable and enchanting.
     ”Pinney’s photographs are powerful and insightful. As social and artistic documents,they reveal the subtle and bold aspects of feminine identity as it is expressed in American spaces and places, both private and public. Girl Ascending is a major contribution to those who appreciate fine-art photography and women’s studies.”


 

2010

Greg Foster-Rice - Topographics              horiz rule     

Reframing the New Topographics
Edited by Greg Foster-Rice and John Rohrbach

264 pages | 57 halftones | 6" x 9"

Published February 2010 












    

     1975 is a pivotal year in the history of photography. The exhibition New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-altered Landscape crystallized a new view of the American West, one that denaturalized the sublime “American” vistas of Ansel Adams, replacing that pristine and timeless “America” with a landscape inundated with banal symbols of humanity. Organized by William Jenkins for the George Eastman House, New Topographics showcased photographs by Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, Joe Deal, Frank Gohlke, and others who epitomized a new artistic interest in the ways in which the past is continually being unmade by human development. Their pictures, illustrating the vernacular, human-made landscape, punctured the myth of the pristine, wild American landscape, and definitively changed the course of landscape photography. 
     Reframing the New Topographics offers the first substantive analysis of this context and the continuing influence of an exhibition that not only reshaped the look and subject matter of landscape photography, but also foreshadowed environmentalism’s expansion beyond the mere preservation of wilderness. The essays in this anthology add important dimension to a growing chorus of scholars of visual culture who are engaging with the complex social and political contexts of landscape representation.


2009

Greg Foster-Rice - Topographics              horiz rule     

MP3: Volume II
Curtis Mann, John Opera & Stacia Yeapanis

56 pages | 25 color images | 8-3/4" x 8"

Published May 2009













     The second installment of the Midwest Photographers Publication Project (MP3), also produced in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP), Chicago, presents the work of three emerging artists: Curtis Mann, John Opera, and Stacia Yeapanis. For his series Modifications, Curtis Mann collects found photographs depicting conflicts in the Middle East and Northern Africa. He then bleaches and scratches the surface of the images, removing information to create new meanings from his source material. John Opera investigates the uncanny in nature. Moving between representation and geometric abstraction, his works reference historical notions of the sublime and landscape as well as modernist photography. Stacia Yeapanis's interest in modes of entertainment and hobbies has led her to explore the simulated-reality computer game The Sims 2, and the craft of embroidery, as she stitches television screen captures of characters in states of distress.         



2007

Dawoud Bey - Class Pictures  Horiz rule   


Class Pictures
Dawoud Bey

Essays by Jock Reynolds and Taro Nettleton
Interview by Carrie Mae Weems
164 pages | 70 four-color images | 9-1/2" x 11"    

Published September 2007 

 







     
    


     
     For the past fifteen years, Dawoud Bey has been making striking, large-scale color portraits of students at high schools across the United States. Depicting teenagers from a wide economic, social, and ethnic spectrum—and intensely attentive to their poses and gestures—he has created a highly diverse group portrait of a generation that intentionally challenges teenage stereotypes.
     Bey spends two to three weeks in each school, taking formal portraits of individual students, each made in a classroom during one forty-five-minute period. At the start of the sitting, each subject writes a brief autobiographical statement. By turns poignant, funny, or harrowing, these revealing words are an integral part of the project, and the subject's statement accompanies each photograph in the book. Together, the words and images in Class Pictures offer unusually respectful and perceptive portraits that establish Bey as one of the best portraitists at work today.
     This project was made possible, in part, with generous support from Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro. Additional support was provided by Sandra and Jack Guthman, Scott and Willa Lang, Susan and Lewis Manilow, and Madeline Murphy Rabb.




2006

Judy Natal - Neon Boneyard  Horiz rule   


Neon Boneyard
Judy Natal

With an introduction by Johanna Drucker
88 pages | 32 color plates | 6-3/4" x 9"    

Published October 2006 

 







    
     The garish glow of neon was part of what put Las Vegas on the map—quite literally. The city’s most distinctive form of expression, neon signs tell an elaborate story of the history of Las Vegas, from their debut in 1929 at the onset of the Depression, when their seductive tones lured travelers through the Mojave Desert to part with scarce dollars, to today, when their flickering glow is a vanishing facet of the gaudy spectacle that is contemporary Vegas.
     Established in 1996 to preserve Las Vegas’s underappreciated neon heritage, the Neon Boneyard houses many of the city's historic casino signs on a three-acre site at the edge of the city. The core of the collection of unrestored signage came from the pioneering Young Electric Sign Company, one of the first to produce neon signs in the area; but, in recent years, it has grown through donations from businesses and individuals who appreciate the key role played by neon in the growth of Las Vegas. 
     Through Judy Natal’s photographs, the Neon Boneyard becomes a dynamic archaeological site that brings Vegas’s past to life in startling ways. The towering figure of Mr. O’Lucky becomes a home for the homeless, while the crumpled sign of a wedding chapel reflects the faded dreams of a lost paradise. Through such juxtapositions of success and failure, of past and present, Neon Boneyard: Las Vegas A–Z returns us to an earlier image of Vegas, suffused with the warm, commercial glow of neon, lighting the desert and inventing modern nightlife.




Paul D'Amato - Barrio  Horiz rule   


Barrio: Photographs from Chicago's Pilsen & Little Village
Paul D'Amato

Forward by Stuart Dybek
128 pages | 90 color plates | 11" x 10-3/4"    

Published September 2006 

 







     In 1988 photographer Paul D’Amato was driving around Chicago with his camera when he decided to follow Halsted Street into Pilsen, the city’s largest Mexican neighborhood. Intrigued by the barrio and neighboring Little Village, he began to take photographs and would continue to do so off and on for the next fourteen years. D’Amato started with the public life of the neighborhood: women and children in the streets, open fire hydrants, and graffiti. But later—after he got to know the area’s Mexican residents better—he was allowed to take more intimate photos of people at work, families at weddings and parties, and even gang members. 
     Barrio collects ninety of these striking color images along with D’Amato’s fascinating account of his time photographing Mexican Chicago and his acceptance—often grudging, after threatened violence—into the heart of the city’s Mexican community. Some of the photos here are beautifully composed and startling—visual narratives that are surreal and dreamlike, haunting and mythic. Others, like those D’Amato took while shadowing graffiti artists in the subway, are far more immediate and improvisational. With a foreword by author Stuart Dybek that places D’Amato’s work in the context of the Pilsen and Little Village that Dybek has elsewhere captured so memorably, this book offers a penetrating, evocative, and overall streetwise portrait of two iconic and enduring Hispanic neighborhoods.


 


MP3  Horiz rule   


MP3: Midwest Photographer's Publication Project
Kelli Connell, Justin Newhall & Brian Ulrich

Essays by Rod Slemmons, Natasha Egan & Karen Irvine
56 pages | 25 full color images | 5-1/2" x 8-1/2"    

Published July 2006 

 








 

     
     The Midwest Photographers Publication Project (MP3) series, produced in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP), Chicago, presents the work of three new emerging talents: Kelli Connell, Justin Newhall, and Brian Ulrich. Just as Aperture's classic Masters of Photography series introduces audiences to the work of established great photographers, this three-volume set offers an affordable, beautifully produced introduction to three young artists poised on the brink of stardom.
     Via digital manipulation, Kelli Connell uses a single individual to represent two sides of an evolving relationship. This character—the self but also the "other"—represents what the artist calls "an autobiographical questioning of sexuality and gender roles that shape the identity of the self in intimate relationships."
     Justin Newhall has spent the past few years following the Lewis and Clark Trail through the Dakotas, Montana, and beyond. His series presents a lyrical exploration of the discovery, speculation, and exploitation that have shaped our treatment of the land, focusing on the hyperboles of tourism as well as the way in which we incorporate history and mythology into the landscape.
     Brian Ulrich shoots in malls, grocery stores, and warehouses, documenting the bounty of commercial goods available to consumers and the peculiarities of the places that offer them for sale. Ulrich is interested in how people act in these spaces. From cathartic to catatonic, the shoppers in Ulrich's pictures may be caught up in fantasy or quite simply overwhelmed, but they are most certainly familiar.
     Each of these artists will be profiled in an individual volume containing twenty-five images selected from his or her most recent work. They have been chosen for the strength of their work, its resonance with current themes in contemporary photographic practice, and to represent the quality of the work cultivated by the Midwest Photographers Project collection at the MoCP. Founded in 1982 by MoCP, the Midwest Photographers Project is a unique collection of contemporary photography established to promote both prominent and emerging photographers from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The MP3 series aims to give greater recognition to artists on the verge of national and international prominence. The museum's curators, Rod Slemmons, Karen Irvine, and Natasha Egan, will each contribute a text that introduces the work in a critical context.



                horiz rule      

At Home
William Frederking 

With an afterword by Brandy Savarese 
71 pages | 51 tritones | 6-3/4" x 9"

Published April 2006 












     
     What makes a house more than just a physical shelter? The old swing on the front porch? The garden in the backyard? The wall clock passed down through generations? We all have furniture, knick-knacks, and other items that represent for us joys and pains, triumphs and tragedies, and the history of our presence in the world. William Frederking takes his own home in Oak Park, Illinois, as the site of such personal talismans, exploring through his photographs the intangible essence of the things that transform a house into a home.
     In striking black-and-white still-life portraits, Frederking captures the small and large elements that define the spirit of his home, as well as revealing why the home is at the heart of the American dream. Home is a place where objects become enlivened and symbolic—a newspaper lying askew on the kitchen table, a fluffy bedspread spilling through the iron lattice of a bedframe, a staircase spiraling down into mysterious shadows—and thus affirm our existence. Everything we buy or touch, renovate or borrow becomes a mark of our selves, and these marks are nowhere more concentrated than in the home. Frederking’s powerful visual sequence examines the simple backdrop that anchors our complicated lives—and ourselves.
     A moving photographic chronicle of the materials that shape the home, At Home offers an intimate and graceful meditation on the fragments and ephemera that help us navigate the world.


 

2005

Bob Thall - At City's Edge              horiz rule     

At City's Edge: Photographs of the Chicago Lakefront
Bob Thall

96 pages | 62 tritones | 11-3/4" x 9-3/4"

Published October 2005

 












     An iron-gray slate on a cold and blustery day, a respite from the summer heat, the engine of the city's notorious blizzards: Lake Michigan is an integral part of the landscape of Chicago. Bob Thall has been photographing the skyline and streets of Chicago for over thirty years, and here in At City's Edge he chronicles the twenty-five-mile shoreline where the asphalt meets the inland sea.
     Thall's stark yet rich images take viewers from the Evanston border on the North Shore down to 100th Street on the South Side, documenting the natural scenery, architectural structures, and people that populate the coastline. From the lakefront parks to summer beaches to the Air and Water Show, Chicago enfolds Lake Michigan into its urban character, but Thall's images make clear that the lake remains a dynamic and powerful force, with nature and civilization clashing at its rim. At City's Edge brings the lakefront to life in all its complexity, chronicling in its elegant visual sequence the sand-covered city beaches, the rock-studded shoreline, the running paths, and the buildings built along this unique intersection.
     Thall writes, "Since the age of five or six, I've spent much of my life at the beach, not only in the summer, but throughout the year. I can't imagine my life in this city without Lake Michigan nearby." At City's Edge redefines the shores of Lake Michigan as a vital element in the urban landscape of Chicago and reveals the complex forces that shape the lakefront as one of Chicago's most public communal spaces.




Scott Fortino - Institutional              horiz rule     

Institutional: Photographs of Jails, Schools, and Other Chicago Buildings
Scott Fortino

With an introduction by Judith Russi Kirshner
88 pages | 54 color photographs | 9-3/4" x 11-1/4"

Published November 2005

 












     They are places we fear to tread, monuments to the principles of our forebears, awe-inspiring towers of achievement: public institutions that sustain and support our lives are all around us. Scott Fortino investigates these enduring pillars of public life in Institutional, a striking visual essay that documents the diverse architectural structures that house the foundations of civic life in the city of Chicago.
     From schools to churches to prisons, Fortino transforms these worn, familiar edifices into compelling symbols of long-lost ideals and communitarian spirit. Fortino coaxes out the subtle warmth and depths of these often overwhelming and pitiless public spaces in hisphotographs, as his camera reveals the hidden characters of both high-profile works by renowned designers such as Rem Koolhaas, Helmut Jahn, and Mies van der Rohe as well as the stolid structures designed by long-forgotten architects. Light, color, and composition work together in Fortino's images to produce provocative new perspectives on the interiors of public buildings, revealing how their cultural and social roles as places of worship, education, punishment, or entertainment cast long and complex shadows over our lives. 
     Fortino challenges us in Institutional to rethink our view of the public spaces we pass through every day by offering an original and fascinating photographic study of the settings in which the important events of human life unfold.


 


Scott Fortino - Institutional              horiz rule     

Private Places: Photographs of Chicago Gardens
Brad Temkin

With an introduction by Rod Slemmons
96 pages | 52 color plates | 11-1/4" x 9-3/4"

Published November 2005

 












     "A garden has this advantage, that it makes it indifferent where you live. A well-laid garden makes the face of the country of no account; let that be low or high, grand or mean, you have made a beautiful abode worthy of man." Thousands of Chicagoans have taken Ralph Waldo Emerson's words to heart, and they have shared their "beautiful abodes" with photographer Brad Temkin. His Private Places offers an intimate glimpse into the personal gardens of Chicago residents, exploring how they carved out these quiet spaces of flora and greenery in the cityscape of concrete and brick.
     Temkin's camera lens captures the lushness and vibrancy of these backyard gardens, roving over the diverse natural and artificial elements contained in each. His images chronicle how gardens are safe havens for these city dwellers, places where they can read, meditate, relax, and enjoy the experience of working with the soil and its fruits. Temkin notes, "The small gardens have bits and pieces of the person who owns them; found objects that are dear to them, keepsakes, statues, and personal items that reveal the person behind it."
     The motto of the city of Chicago is "Urbs in horto," a Latin phrase meaning "city in a garden." Temkin's compelling photographs reveal the flip side of the motto—"garden in a city"— as Private Places unearths the richly sensual world of the natural tucked away behind the clustered town houses and brick edifices of Chicago's residential neighborhoods.


 


Andrew Borowiec - Industrial Complex              horiz rule     

Industrial Complex: Photographs of the Gulf Coast
Andrew Borowiec

128 pages | 51 tritones | 14" x 8-1/2"

Published March 2005

 












     The world of factories and industry is a crucial yet oft-forgotten fact that undergirds the bustling prosperity of contemporary American life. Photographer Andrew Borowiec has spent his career exploring the industrial fields of middle America, and he now turns his camera's eye southward in Industrial Perspective, exploring the panoramic landscapes along and near the Gulf of Mexico where oil and gas industry workers live and work.
     Borowiec gained permission from oil corporations to enter their high-security sites and was thus able to photograph the delicate balance of land, life, and industry along the Gulf. The region's immense concentration of oil, chemical, and paper plants has created one of America's most unique and misunderstood contemporary landscapes, and Borowiec unravels its complexity in his evocative images. The visual sequence of Industrial Perspective reveals a continually evolving area that was transformed after World War II from a plantation system into an intricate and vast industrial complex built to accommodate the demands of a surging American economy. As Borowiec reveals through his striking images, this world of iron, oil, and heat enabled the American dream to come to fruition, yet its unyielding and stark characteris virtually alien to those who do not live near the region.
     Industrial Perspective is a compelling and vibrant collection of images that offers a unique and powerful view of the industrial realities of American abundance.





Gary Stochl - On City Streets              horiz rule     

On City Streets: Chicago 1964 - 2004
Gary Stochl

With an introduction by Bob Thall 
80 pages | 53 tritones | 6-1/4" x 8-1/2"

Published April 2005












    
     City streets are perhaps the most paradoxically anonymous and personal of all public spaces in the city: people blindly collide in their rush to reach their destinations, while the homeless look for humanity amid the thousands passing by. Gary Stochl captures this daily drama in On City Streets, a penetrating examination of the unpredictable people, places, and events that make up the streets of downtown Chicago. It is a stunning collection made even more so by the fact that this is the first work of Stochl's to be seen in his forty years as a photographer.
     Until 2003, Stochl had never shown his photographs to anyone; his rich body of images remained completely unknown to the public. Self-taught and working in isolation, Stochl carefully studied the work of other renowned urban photographers, including Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank. Through his studies, he learned how to see his subjects, and he developed a visual language uniquely his own, unfettered by fashion or community. The results of his efforts are these powerful images that provide a starkly honest and penetrating glimpse into the lives of city dwellers and their internal struggle with the loneliness of contemporary urban life.
     Like all great images, Stochl's photographs leave the viewer with an altered sense ofthe world. On City Streets offers, with unnerving directness and consistency, that rare artistic combination of visual sophistication and stunning emotional resonance. With this book, Stochl joins the ranks of Chicago's great photographers.


  


Terry Evans - Revealing Chicago              horiz rule     

Revealing Chicago: An Ariel Protrait
Terry Evans

Essays and introduction by Charles Wheelan 
192 pages | 10" x 13"

Published June 2005












     
     Dramatic aerial images by renowned photographer Terry Evans celebrate one of the world's foremost cities at the outset of the 21st century. One hundred and twenty sumptuous four-color photographs take the reader on a fascinating tour of Chicago and its environs in all four seasons, revealing its unique features: its incomparable lakefront, cutting-edge skyscrapers, and diverse residential neighborhoods, as well as the lush farms and landscapes beyond the city's borders. With the population of the Chicago region expected to increase by two million over the next 25 years, ensuring that the city grows in a manner that adds to rather than detracts from its beauty, desirability, and prosperity is essential. In Revealing Chicago, Evans's spectacular photographs and Charles Wheelan's thoughtful text not only tell the current story of the city but also expose the challenges—environmental, economic, and social—it faces with continued development. An aesthetic tour de force, this singular volume highlights the importance of making decisions today that will enable Chicago to sustain its prominence into the future.


 

 2004

Gary Stochl - On City Streets              horiz rule     

Between Cultures: Children of Immigrants in America
Gina Grillo

With a conclusion by Leo Schelbert
136 pages | 6 color plates, 61 duotones | 9-1/2" x 8"

Published April 2004

 












     As the grandchild of Italian immigrants, photographer Gina J. Grillo has a personal impetus in her photographic studies of ethnic and immigrant life in the United States. In Between Cultures, Grillo explores the struggles immigrant children face as they develop their cultural identity in an environment completely new and foreign to them.
     Following the tradition of the pioneering photographers Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine, Grillo portrays the immigrant experience through children's eyes, unearthing a complex and poignant world. She begins with images of newly arrived immigrant families at O'Hare International Airport during their first few hours in the United States, and then follows them through the gates and into Chicago's urban life: through her chronicle of citizenship ceremonies, cultural celebrations, weddings and dances, and other everyday scenes of immigrant life, Grillo captures the crucial elements that shape not only the characters of the children, but also the neighborhoods in which they reside.
     For adults, emigration to America is filled with both hope and fear, yet it is tempered by a mature understanding. For children, however, this same journey unfolds in the unrelenting
present as they must constantly negotiate their individual identities and allegiances to culture, country, and kin. With moving quotations and drawings by immigrant children woven into Grillo's visual sequence, Between Cultures is a unique meditation on the development of individual identity through the reconciliation of multiple cultural heritages.


  

 

Jay Wolke - Along the Divide              horiz rule     

Along the Divide: Photographs of the Dan Ryan Expressway
Jay Wolke

With a conclusion by Leo Schelbert
96 pages | 65 color plates, 5 halftones | 11-1/4" x 9-7/8"

Published October 2004

 












     Cutting across Chicago’s South Side in a broad swath of concrete, steel, and overpasses, the Dan Ryan Expressway is one of America’s busiest, and perhaps most chaotic highways. Yet underneath the cacophony of its ten lanes lies an intriguing world of urbanecology and human networks. In The Dan Ryan Expressway, artist and photographer Jay Wolke unearths an ecosystem unto itself that weaves human and industrial elements into an essential feature of Chicago’s identity.
     Between 1981 and 1985, Wolke shot thousands of photographs on and along the Dan Ryan during the day and night, traveling up and down the expressway in an effort to accurately capture it. In the twenty years since the photographs were taken, Wolke has organized his pictures into a complex and fascinating portrait of this iconic highway, which he characterizes as an “arterial organism” with its own “cycles and flows, causes and effects.” The book is a dynamic narrative that explores the Dan Ryan’s enormous influence over the people who drive on it, the neighborhoods lined along side it, and the industrial environs it weaves through.
     As Chicago transportation officials prepare to launch a massive renovation of the Dan Ryan Expressway, Wolke here presents a historical chronicle of the development of the DanRyan and its rapid integration into Chicago’s urban life. His photographs create an arresting visual representation of the expressway that provides an important window into the structure of Chicago’s urban landscape and culture. The Dan Ryan Expressway ultimately examines where the highway fits within the trope of the American road and explores how it became “a massive expression of the urban lexicon.”


 

 2003

Dawoud Bey - Chicago Project              horiz rule     

Dawoud Bey: The Chicago Project
Dawoud Bey

96 pages | 12 color plates - 20 B&W illustrations

Published October 2003

 












     Is it possible for a photographic portrait to rereal anything "real" about its subject? As part of a twelve-week residency, acclaimed photographer Dawoud Bey asked this question of twelve teenagers from schools on Chicago's South Side. This fully illustrated book unpacks the process of Bey's ambitious residency and its products: a major exhibition pairing Bey's portraits of each student with audio portraits created by award-winng radio producers Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister (included here on CD), as well as an exhibition of portraits curated by the students themselves.


 

 
Melissa Ann Pinney - Regarding Emma              horiz rule     

Regarding Emma: Photographs of American Women and Girls
Melissa Ann Pinney

120 pages | 74 color plates | 11-1/2" x 10"

Published September 2003

 












     For more than fifteen years, Melissa Ann Pinney has been making photographs of girls and women, from infancy to old age, to portray how feminine identity is constructed, taught, and communicated. Her work depicts not only the rites of American womanhood—a prom, a wedding, a baby shower, a tea party—but the informal passages of girlhood: combing a doll's hair, doing laundry with a mother, smoking a cigarette at a state fair. With each view, we gain a greater understanding of the connections between mother and daughter, and by extension the larger world of family, friends, and society.
     Pinney's approach to interpreting girlhood became more complicated and complex when her daughter, Emma, was born eight years ago. Emma's childhood evoked in Pinney her own girlhood and gave her work new meaning and purpose. Ultimately, Regarding Emma shares with all of us the incremental and the ritualistic changes that take place in a woman's life overtime. Her photographs are artistic and social documents that reveal the subtle and bold aspects of feminine identity—documents whose reach will extend well beyond the walls of America's leading galleries and museums into the hearts and homes of everyday Americans.


  

 2002

Bob Thall - City Spaces              horiz rule     


City Spaces: Photographs of Chicago Alleys

Bob Thall

96 pages | 66 halftones | 12" x 9"

Published November 2002

 












     In 1996, photographer Bob Thall—walking to his car after completing some work in downtown Chicago—was stopped by something. "I noticed this strange view down an alley, "he later wrote. " It wasn't the type of photograph I was doing that year, but the scene stopped me. I had one sheet of film left and thought, 'Oh, what the hell,' and took the picture. "Thall didn't print that picture for over a year. He had just published the highly-praised The Perfect City, an investigation of the sweeping changes in downtown Chicago over a twenty-year period—and he was still working on The New American Village, a look at the new edge city around O'Hare Airport that stands in such contrast to the urbanity of downtown. That single alley photograph, however, would stay with him, and eventually it would inspire the project that led to this, his third book: City Spaces is an exploration of the terrain of Chicago's alleys, where Thall finds remnants of the old city that he, and many other Chicagoans, once found so compelling. What these photographs transcribe are deep urban slits, afterthoughts to the gleaming modernist fronts of buildings. As Thall writes, "Investigating these spaces reminded me of my earlier sense of the city as a mysterious landscape to explore. My history as a Chicagoan,my history as a photographer, the history of the city, and, in a small way, the history of photography—without any plan or anticipation, these photographs brought these histories together for me." City Spaces will be a welcome addition to those interested in fine art photography, architecture, Chicago, and the urban scene—and will reinforce Bob Thall's presence as a leading artist and spokesperson for the city he loves.


 

1999

Bob Thall - The New American Village              horiz rule     


The New American Village

Bob Thall

112 pages | 11" x 8-3/4"

Published December 1999 

 












     

     "It may be that the developers, residents, and corporate owners of the new American village have gotten exactly what they want. Like all such rare complete triumphs, the victors are left to consider not the limits of their effort but the quality of their original vision." — Bob Thall

     Since 1971, Bob Thall has made photographs that examine and interpret Chicago's urban landscape. His highly praised 1994 book, The Perfect City, documented the sweeping changes in the character of the downtown area from 1971 to 1991. Now, continuing his extensive project to photograph the Chicago metropolitan area, Thall presents a complete picture of the nationally known area around Schaumburg and O'Hare International Airport — significant as perhaps the best example of a new type of American suburb, the "edge city."
     In The New American Village, Thall captures four components of the new edge city — corporate, commercial, domestic, and environmental — in a way that no previous photographer has achieved. To find the stark but provocatively beautiful images that appear in the book, Thall spent years exploring the western and northwestern suburbs of Chicago, photographing remnants of open land and farm structures, the process of clearing and construction, corporate headquarters, townhouse developments, model homes, office parks, strip malls, and the many aspects of nature that remain, in one way or another, in these miniature cities.
     Thall's photographs are not simply snapshots of raw visual facts but images full of meaning. Documenting these new American places, he draws attention to the choices being made when they are built and discovers some unexpected transformations. In an industrial park built where once there were only huge, flat fields of corn, Thall is surprised to find innumerable small lakes and ponds created by developers for flood control. While timing exposures at dusk, he recalls, geese flew so close overhead that he could feel the beat of their wings.
     But along with such oddly pastoral scenes, Thall finds much that is emotionally chilling. His photographs show a landscape with no pedestrian life, no old trees, and little diversity in architecture or people. "Everything, for hundreds of square miles, looked much the same to me," he writes, "the cheap standardized construction, the ceaseless flow of cars, the acres of blacktop and concrete, and the unwalkable distances across open, flat land." Always thoughtful, often striking or strangely beautiful, Thall's remarkable images capture a vast suburban world where, in ever increasing numbers, Americans are choosing to spend their lives.



1998

Terry Evans - Inhabited Prairie              horiz rule     


The Inhabited Prairie
Terry Evans

96 pages | 50 duotones | 9-3/4" x 11-1/2"

Published September 1998

 












     

     If you want to grasp the rich complexity of the past, observes environmental historian Donald Worster, you could do worse than spend time on the prairie. Seen from high above, it is an orderly grid of farmland; closer to ground level, it reveals the industriousness of humanity in the making and remaking of the land.
     Considered by many to be lacking in inspiration, the prairie is shown by photographer Terry Evans to be a land of varied textures. Evans seeks to have us pay attention to the ways we perceive both the natural and the cultural in this underappreciated landscape, and in this stunning collection of photographs she reads the land for the stories it has to tell.
     Widely known for her spectacular photographs of pristine prairie, Evans here works at low altitudes to focus on the land as an inhabited place. These fifty black-and-white images document specific locations and disclose some of the contradictions and mysteries about how we live on the prairie. Through her lens we view the site of an ancient Indian village, targets on the Smoky Hill Weapons Range, and old country cemeteries; observe the startling contours of plowed fields and sandpits; and witness the tranquility of deer grazing on new winter wheat. All of these images help us to understand the layers of life on the prairie and the complex interweaving of nature and man.
     "Outdoor pictures are supposed to be scenes of picturesque beauty," Worster writes in his accompanying essay, "and the prairies have seldom met that ideal for most people. Only a few artists have tried to figure out how to get its tangled, intricate weave into a revealing frame." Terry Evans has met that challenge, staking out a middle ground between the extremes of wilderness and grid to show us that the prairie is more than a commodity to be subdivided and sold. She brings to The Inhabited Prairie a keen sense of understanding combined with deep artistic vision, opening our eyes to a prairie we live with but perhaps seldom see.


 


Terry Evans - Disarming the Prairie              horiz rule     


Disarming the Prairie: Creating the Northern Landscape
Terry Evans

Introduction by Tony Hiss
88 pages

Published August 1998

 











     In Disarming the Prairie, noted landscape photographer Terry Evans offers haunting and hopeful images of the impact of America's military-industrial complex on the environment and the transformation of a former military base into a unique nature preserve and public recreation area. Located 40 miles southwest of downtown Chicago, the Joliet Army Arsenal was once the world's largest TNT factory. Wartime security and safety measures demanded that the Joliet installation be surrounded by 19,000 acres of open lands -- farmlands, meadows, wetlands, and forest. Abandoned by the post-Cold War era military, the munitions plant and its vast prewar farmland and wilderness setting now has a new purpose. Inspired by the vision and efforts of environmentalists, preservationists, and Chicago-area residents, the federal government in 1997 transferred the land from the Department of the Army to the U.S. Forest Service and created Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.
     In her photographs of the Midewin Prairie, Terry Evans captures this moment of transformation, contrasting the decayed monuments of twentieth-century warfare with the pastoral beauty and historic structures preserved within the boundaries of the former installation. Through her evocative images of the arsenal (abandoned bunkers, disused railway tracks, crumbling factory buildings and offices) and the countryside around the base (tallgrass prairie, a blackbird's nest, grazing cattle, a meandering creek, as well as a prehistoric burial mound and a Civil War-era fieldstone fence), Evans explores one of this country's most troubling and least understood legacies -- the militarization of the American landscape. In his informative introduction, Tony Hiss notes that installations similar to the Joliet Arsenal were built across the United States during the Second World War and at the height of the Cold War, eventually occupying 30 million acres of land. Approximately 20 million acres (an area the size of Austria) remain under military control today, and the debate over what to do with the sprawling munitions factories for which the post-Cold War military has no further use has begun in earnest. Joliet's transformation to Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie will serve as a model for future conversion of military lands into civilian use, and Terry Evans's photographic record of this change provides hope that renewal is possible.


 

 

1994

Bob Thall - The Perfect City              horiz rule     


The Perfect City
Bob Thall

128 pages | 11-1/2" x 8-3/4"

Published September 1994

 












     

     In The Perfect City, photographer Bob Thall explores the changing downtown landscape of America's third-largest city - Chicago. In sixty-four duotone photographs, Thall provides a visual record of the changing architectural landscape of downtown Chicago between 1972 and 1991. Throughout, Thall's photographs stress the concept of change and the importance of architecture in shaping our notion of place. They examine the great public spaces, buildings, and streets that have always served at the heart and soul of city life, culture, and commerce. And they show how the city in which modern urban architecture began becomes a metaphor for urban change throughout America. In the essay accompanying the photographs Peter Bacon Hales examines the notion of the city as museum (especially for visitors from the suburbs and rural areas), highlights the successes and failures of urban renewal in downtown Chicago, and assesses the city's current character.