Captured Earth

Tarrah Krajnak. Sister Rock, Rock that Tries to Forget. 2020

About the Exhibition

Captured Earth presents works by artists who create works in photography and installation that use elements from nature to explore place, ecology, and the material and mystical qualities of the land. Depictions range from site-specific performances, including Tarrah Krajnak’s documentations of her nature-centered rituals using rocks and plant material, and Alan Cohen’s walking meditations on the equator. Other artists use natural elements to create experimental process-based works, such as Jeremy Bolen’s prints produced from film developed in a polluted river or Barbara Crane’s photographic transfers of tree bark, leaves, and fungi she gathered at her Michigan cabin retreat. Others attempt to convey things so confounding that they cannot be contained in an image, such as Penelope Umbrico’s 8,146,774 Suns From Flickr (Partial) 9/10/10, that presents an assemblage of photographs of sunsets from one day found on a photo sharing website to underscore the universal human attraction to capture the sun’s essence. Collectively, the exhibition shows ways artists grapple with creating visual language to express their connection to the earth and its magnitude.

Featuring works by: Karl Blossfeldt (German, 1865-1932), Jeremy Bolen (American, b. 1977), Alan Cohen (American, b. 1943), Antonia Contro (American, b. 1957) with sound design Lou Mallozzi (American, b. 1957), Barbara Crane (American, 1928-2019), Odette England (Australian, b. 1975), Whit Forrester (American, b. 1983), Bertha E. Jaques (American, 1863–1941), Dakota Mace (Diné, b. 1991), Robert Mapplethorpe (American, 1946-1989), Byung-Hun Min (Korean, b. 1955), Liza Nguyen (French, b. 1979), Tarrah Krajnak (American, b. 1979 Peru), Martha Madigan (American, b. 1950), John Opera (American, b. 1975), Eliot Porter (American, 1901-1990), Meghann Riepenhoff (American, b. 1979), Rachel Sussman (American, b. 1975), and Penelope Umbrico (American, b. 1957)

Curated by Kristin Taylor, Curator of Academic Programs and Collections.

MoCP is supported by Columbia College Chicago, MoCP Advisory Board, the Museum Council, individuals, and private and corporate foundations. The 2023–2024 exhibition season is sponsored in part by the Comer Family Foundation, Efroymson Family Fund, Henry Nias Foundation, Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation, and Pritzker Traubert Foundation. This project is partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and a CityArts grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. 

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