About the Photographer
American, b. 1942
Photographer Ron Gordon has developed an extensive body of work centering on architecture and the urban scene. Based in Chicago, Gordon has frequently focused on buildings slated for demolition and neighborhoods that are on the cusp of disappearing, using photography to preserve a visual record of the ever-changing landscape and to lend insight into people's relationship with the built environment. In addition to photographs by Gordon of places like the old Comiskey Park baseball stadium and Chicago's famous Maxwell Street neighborhood, MoCP's collection includes eighteen photographs from Gordon's contribution to the large-scale documentary project Changing Chicago, launched in 1987. In cooperation with five local museums, the Focus/Infinity Fund commissioned thirty-three photographers to document the city's diverse urban and suburban neighborhoods, while focusing on particular subjects of their own choosing. For his part Gordon photographed Chicago's waterways, exploring their central role in the city and their presence in both industrial and residential areas. Although Chicago and its architecture has been a sustained interest for Gordon, he has also completed photographic series in other locations. In 1989, Gordon traveled to Yellowstone National Park one year after a large forest fire. His photographs there document the destructive effects and the parks' regrowth, while approaching the dense clusters of bare tree trunks in different ways to achieve a range of formal effects.
Gordon earned a BA in language and literature (1965), an MA in literature (1968), and then completed preliminary doctoral studies in language and literature at the University of Illinois. He has taught as an adjunct professor of at the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology, and owns a photography studio and custom printing lab.