The Catherine Edelman Gallery is a sort of "Your Friends and Neighbors" gallery. It's the type meant to be found in movies - painfully white, thought provoking (you won't find any sweet Italian landscapes here) and so modern you expect the art to be dripping off the canvas in newness. It's the type of place that could easily be the scene with a bit of wine, cheese and jazz. And that's not a bad thing. Catherine Edelman has been exhibiting contemporary photography since 1987 when, at the age of 25 and a working photographer herself, she decided to open a gallery exclusively devoted to the exhibition and sale of living photographers, which was conspicuously absent from the Chicago art scene at the time.
Since then, Catherine Edelman Gallery has held nine shows each year and while carrying an inventory of about 50 artists, presenting visitors with two choices; you can leisurely analyze the photos dominating the walls or can set out with money to burn and an artist in mind. The impressive range of photographers represented by the gallery can be found in a lengthy list next to the door. The linking factor of most of the artists is their craft - the bent of the gallery is mixed-media photography, meaning it's not straight-up prints of what you see but of what the artist thinks you should see. For example, the gallery did a showing of about 25 works by James Fee, whose red, orange, blue and grey stained images of nudes (reminiscent of the religious hues used years ago) challenge the idea of sexuality in the wake of the AIDS epidemic.
Centerstage Reviewer: Kate Schwartz