Lisa Beard | Larry Chait
October 31 - December 1, 2019
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 2, 5-7 pm
Conversation with the Artists: Thursday, November 21 at 7 pm
All events are free and open to the public.
 


Lisa Beard |  Phantom Limb
The idea behind Lisa Beard's series is to offer the concept of a “phantom limb” as a visual metaphor for the feeling that comes from something which is no longer present to either our individual or collective human experience. Beard's work compares the physical loss of a limb to how we react to people and parts of our lives that disappear. "Although difficult at times," Beard explains, "we all have to deal with loss and change and the accompanying feelings attached to those situations. This is something that unites us as humans."  All the images in the series are documentary in nature. They are not staged. And elements in the images have been manipulated to illustrate the phantom limb theme. This symbolic "limb" is presented as an experience that begins to fade and emotionally alters us by causing us to pause and contemplate what exactly it is that we have lost, or paradoxically, gained through the loss. Beard's series is also meant to call into question such ideas as: Do we really appreciate things as we are losing them or are they missed only after they are gone? Do experiences disappear or do parts of them stick around indefinitely? Is recollecting and reliving experiences harmful or healthy? And, ironically, are our memories accurate or do we idealize the past as we accrue new experiences and gain new insights?
 



Larry Chait  | Las flores para los muertos
Larry Chait's exhibition titled, “Las flores para los muertos.” (“Flowers for the Dead”), consists of dark and moody photographs that were taken at the Panteón de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, a public cemetery in the town of San Miguel de Allende in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico. According to Chait, there’s a section there where foreigners are buried that resembles a typical American cemetery. But Chait found the section where the locals are put to rest to be of greater interest. That area contains several long rows of burial niches (nichos) which relatives decorate with flowers and other personal artifacts as a way of remembering and paying respect to the deceased. Many of the flowers are artificial because they last indefinitely. Chait states that he was inspired to photograph these nichos "because of the contrast between the brightly colored, perfectly preserved flowers and the dark, deteriorating niches, adorned with crudely written text."

Larry Chait is a Chicago-based photographer who has been pursuing his artistic vision since 2002. He studied photography at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and at Columbia College Chicago. His work has been included in the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, the Block Museum at Northwestern University, and the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis. He has exhibited widely nationally and internationally in more than 90 solo and group exhibitions.