Tag Archives: Museum Of Contemporary Photography

Lydia Panas, Maria + Corinne

Lydia Panas, Maria + Corinne

Lydia Panas

Maria + Corinne,
Kutztown, Pennsylvania, 2012
Website – LydiaPanas.com

Lydia Panas is an award-winning photographer whose work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States and abroad, and has won numerous awards. She was one of nine International Discoveries, Houston Fotofest in 2007. Her work is included in numerous collections, including Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Brooklyn Museum, and Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago. Lydia has degrees from Boston College, the School of Visual Arts, New York University/International Center of Photography, as well as an Independent Study Fellowship from the Whitney Museum of American Art. Lydia has taught photography at a number of institutions, including The Museum of Modern Art, Lafayette, Muhlenberg and Moravian Colleges, Kutztown University, The Maine Media Workshops, The Vermont College MFA program, and the Baum School of Art/Lehigh Carbon Community College.

Filter Photo Fesitival Week: Ursula Sokolowska

This week, I am sharing a few of photographers that I met at the Filter Photo Festival in Chicago….


Born in Krakow, Poland, Ursula Sokolowska studied photography at Columbia College and compled her BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I first saw her Constructed Family images a year ago at Filter and I was happy to see the continued progression of the series. Ursula will be exhibiting her work at the JDC Fine Art Gallery in San Diego, opening on December 7th, running through February 23rd, 2013. I am featuring work from two series, both incorporate projection, are deeply personal,  and both explore the idea of separation of the body from consciousness and objectification.


Her photographs can be found in many public and private collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Tanqueray. Selected exhibitions include The Travelling Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland, Saatchi Gallery, Zoo Art Fair, the Royal Academy of Arts, London, United Kingdom, Minnesota Center for Photography, and Schneider Gallery, Chicago, IL. Her work has appeared in CameraArts magazine, Light & Lens: Photography in the Digital Age, and featured in the Chicago Tribune.


The Constructed Family series  examines the trauma and uncertainty carried from childhood. In particular, I am referencing my own upbringing as a Polish immigrant. There is an undercurrent of helplessness and misdirection linked to a sort of schizophrenic parenting, excommunication, and constant movement. Typically, the perception of children handed down by my elders was that children did not have a choice. Frequently, I heard a Polish equivalent of the phrase “Children should be seen not heard”. I am attempting to give these children voices.

These photographs are projection-based installations. 

The models are mannequins and their faces are projections. The faces of the children are slides that my father took of me when he was still involved in my life. The other slides are present day images that I have shot of my mom, my dad, and myself. My goal is to reconstruct my own childhood, empowering the past for better or for worse. The result is a troubling recreation of events that may seem disturbing but are far less in context to the real events that transpired. 

Untitled Series:The images presented pose several questions towards the societal view of gender as related to the biological roles that exist. By using the flower as the reference point, we see the inequality and the taint that is applied to a supposedly natural and beautiful inevitability. These human plant-life carry their own baggage that spews out of every orifice and drips moistly from their painted skin. Their reproduction is marred by the inner psychological turmoil as related to the divisions between sexual identity and biological reality, quite unlike their floral counterparts. 

The flower represents a self-sustaining sexual organism, one of which is free from divisions of sexuality and role yet forced by design biologically. When we admire what we see, staring at its naked form, we are free from imposing predisposed notions of sex and gender. Yet when we see human form, we cognitively associate our own psychological issues with role, gender and biological fulfillment subconsciously. With the flower there is no revolt against being more than what it was created to be. It exists to be seen and to reproduce year after year. It is perfectly content being an object to be admired on a singular level. 

The question remains why are we any different? By combining a seemingly natural and innocent vision of a flower and juxtaposing it with provocative cues, we explore the seemingly inevitable chain to biology that humans fight consistently. The fight to be more than just a sexual being content with reproducing itself and the psychological frustration that ensues. Each subject has his or her own issues with their design. These hopes and fears are explored by facing the possible truth that we may be nothing more than pretty flowers, waving their prospective parts in the open for all to see.

Christopher Churchill, Thomas Putnam and Thomas Putnam Jr.

Christopher Churchill, Thomas Putnam and Thomas Putnam Jr.

Christopher Churchill

Thomas Putnam and Thomas Putnam Jr.,
Ponca City, Oklahoma, 2009
Website – ChristopherChurchill.com

Christopher Churchill (b. 1977) works as a fine art and commissioned photographer based in New England. His photographs are held in various permanent collections that include The Corcoran Gallery of Art, The Center for Creative Photography, The High Museum of Art, The J. Paul Getty Museum, MFA Boston, MFA Houston, The Museum of Contemporary Photography and The Smithsonian. His first monograph American Faith, was published in 2012 by Nazraeli Press and the Joy of Giving Something. In 2010 he was named to the Critical Mass top 50. He had had the good fortune of working with a variety of clients that include Budweiser, Businessweek, Esquire, Fast Co., Inc., GQ, Liberty Mutual, Newsweek, NYTimes Magazine, Stern, Time, Travel & Leisure, Salvation Army and PBS. He lives outside of Boston with his wife and two daughters.  

Christopher Churchill, Thomas Putnam and Thomas Putnam Jr.

Christopher Churchill, Thomas Putnam and Thomas Putnam Jr.

Christopher Churchill

Thomas Putnam and Thomas Putnam Jr.,
Ponca City, Oklahoma, 2009
Website – ChristopherChurchill.com

Christopher Churchill (b. 1977) works as a fine art and commissioned photographer based in New England. His photographs are held in various permanent collections that include The Corcoran Gallery of Art, The Center for Creative Photography, The High Museum of Art, The J. Paul Getty Museum, MFA Boston, MFA Houston, The Museum of Contemporary Photography and The Smithsonian. His first monograph American Faith, was published in 2012 by Nazraeli Press and the Joy of Giving Something. In 2010 he was named to the Critical Mass top 50. He had had the good fortune of working with a variety of clients that include Budweiser, Businessweek, Esquire, Fast Co., Inc., GQ, Liberty Mutual, Newsweek, NYTimes Magazine, Stern, Time, Travel & Leisure, Salvation Army and PBS. He lives outside of Boston with his wife and two daughters.  

Matt Austin

Chicago photographer/artist, Matt Austin, has created a body of work, WAKE, that is a narrative about tragic moments in his family’s life.  This project is about to become part of an experiment in the sharing of work.
Matt received the Illinois Artist Council Grant to produce an edition of 10 of the WAKE books. Each copy of WAKE is made up of a handmade clamshell box that houses four hardcover books and a ledger. On October 27, the edition will be distributed to ten people familiar to Matt, but don’t personally know one other. Their responsibility will be to read the book, sign the ledger like a library card, and register their book number location by zip code on a corresponding website.The reader will then decide who receives their copy of the book next, pass it on to the next person, and so on. The website will provide a visual for where each of the 10 books are in the world as well as a waiting list platform for requesting a book to be sent to you.

Matt received his BFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago  and is teaching for the Museum of Contemporary Photography and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Matt is the co-founder of the open digital lab LATITUDE (be sure to explore this amazing site), staff member of ACRE Artist Residency, co-founder of the art installation project known as TAIST, and a member of the pedagogical experiment The Mountain was a Gift. His photographs have been exhibited widely, including exhibitions at the John Michael Kohler Art Center, Catherine Edelman Gallery, NEXT: Invitational Exhibition of Emerging Art, the MDW Art Fair, including solo exhibitions at Johalla Projects and the University of Notre Dame. Soon, he will be re-releasing the second edition of “/” with EJ Hill for their two-person exhibition SLOW DANCE at RAID Projects in L.A. this November.

WAKE is currently on exhibition at the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, WI in the show The Kids Are All Right.  The exhibition runs through January where it will then travel to the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, NC and the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, MA throughout 2013.

WAKE is a photographic and literary narrative that presents my account of several tragic moments regarding my family over the past 4 years. The story begins with e-mails between my dad and I exchanged over the days that followed a violent eviction from his apartment and my simultaneous arrival in Ireland to study abroad. 

In the following chapters, WAKE gives an account of three family deaths over a short few months, drawing comparisons between economic failure and physical mortality. While providing one of many stories of a family’s experience with economic devastation, the book poses an optimistic perspective of learned appreciation through difficulty.

Shen Wei, Self-portrait (Juniper)

Shen Wei, Self-portrait (Juniper)

Shen Wei

Self-portrait (Juniper),
, 2012
From the I Miss You Already series
Website – ShenPhoto.com

Born and raised in Shanghai, Shen Wei is a fine art photographer currently based in New York City. His work have been exhibited nationally and internationally, with venues including the Museum of the City of New York, Southeast Museum of Photography, Lincoln Center Avery Fisher Hall, the Harn Museum of Art and the CAFA Art Museum in Beijing. His photographs have been featured in publications such as The New Yorker, Aperture, ARTnews, PDN, American Photo, and Chinese Photography. Shen Wei's work is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Philadelphia Museum of Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg, Library of Congress, Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, Museum of Chinese in America, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Kinsey Institute. He holds an MFA in photography, video, and related media from the School of Visual Arts, New York; a BFA in photography from Minneapolis College of Art and Design; and an AA in decorative arts from Shanghai Light Industry College.

Kathleen Robbins, Me on Belle Chase

Kathleen Robbins, Me on Belle Chase

Kathleen Robbins

Me on Belle Chase,
Mississippi Delta, 2008
Website – Kathleen-Robbins.com

Born in Washington DC and raised in the Mississippi Delta, Kathleen Robbins received her BA from Millsaps College and her MFA from the University of New Mexico. Her photographs have been exhibited in venues such as The Light Factory Museum of Contemporary Photography & Film, Rayko Gallery, and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. She is represented by Jennifer Schwartz Gallery in Atlanta. In 2011, she was the recipient of the PhotoNOLA Review Prize. She currently resides in Columbia, SC, where she is an associate professor of art, coordinator of the photography program and affiliate faculty of southern studies at the University of South Carolina. 

Jon Horvath, Untitled (from Wide Eyed)

Jon Horvath, Untitled (from Wide Eyed)

Jon Horvath

Untitled (from Wide Eyed),
Winslow, Arizona, 2012
From the Wide Eyed series
Website – JonHorvath.net

Jon Horvath is an artist and educator residing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He received his MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2008. His work has been exhibited nationally in galleries including: The Print Center (Philadelphia), Macy Gallery at Columbia University (New York), Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, and The Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography. His work is currently held in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Haggerty Museum of Art, and is included in the Midwest Photographers Project at The Museum of Contemporary Photography. Horvath was a finalist for the The Greater Milwaukee Foundation's 2009 and 2010 Mary L. Nohl Emerging Artist Fellowship. In 2011, he was named a US Flash Forward winner by The Magenta Foundation. Horvath currently teaches at The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design.