Posted inArts & Culture

Rebuilding the Bomb

Meridel Rubenstein and Ellen Zweig Critical Mass at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, through March 22 By Mark Swartz The first A-bomb threw off such a blinding light and cast such long shadows that ordinary film couldn’t really register the explosion. Photographs of the bombing of Hiroshima exist, as do pictures of the victims, but […]

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Life Sentences

Discipline and Photograph: The Prison Experience at the Peace Museum, through November 16 Hospice: A Photographic Inquiry at the Chicago Cultural Center, through November 17 By Fred Camper I once read that men, not women, were the victims in a majority of rapes in the United States. I assumed the writer was nuts until I […]

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Gray Areas

Roy DeCarava at the Art Institute of Chicago, through September 15 By Stephen Longmire Not long ago I was wondering what it would take for a photograph to show the photographer’s love for the people portrayed. Roy DeCarava’s best pictures–such as Sherry, Susan, Laura, Wendy, a 1983 study of the artist’s wife and (presumably) their […]

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Multiple Exposures

The Insistent Subject: Photographing Time and Again at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, through October 28 An age is often mirrored in the subjects its artists depict, and many recent artists’ interests seem to be narrowing toward the personal: those things that only one individual or one group of people can feel. Of the 16 […]

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View Finders

Michal Rovner at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, through November 4 Bob Thall at Ehlers Caudill Gallery, through October 14 Six human shadows ascend a hillside we cannot see, the evenly spaced silhouettes climbing into a swirling tan sky–a group reaching for some lofty goal? Yet the sky is indistinguishable from the ground. Only a darker patch […]

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We Have a Problem

Jeff Wall at the Museum of Contemporary Art, through August 20 Creating paradoxes around the issue of representation is a familiar modernist ploy. Jeff Wall’s photos–18 of which are now on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art–do more, because of his provocative subject matter; carefully constructed compositions, some of which are computer composites; and […]

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The French Connection

Photography and Beyond: New Expressions in France at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, through June 3 In recent decades French intellectuals have revolutionized modern critical thinking, as structuralism, semiotics, deconstruction, and lesser-known methodologies have crept into, and in many cases taken over, academic discourse. While many scholarly articles on art or film are still reasonably […]

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This Magic Moment

Debbie Fleming Caffery at Catherine Edelman Gallery, through April 22 Every corner of Debbie Fleming Caffery’s photographs seems alive. In Oaxaca, Mexico, 1994 it’s as if the speed of the girl running has somehow affected the background–as if her racing spirit were also in the land. Photographers often show a sharply focused runner against a […]