Ali Aschman & Emma Robbins

With Liz McCarthy "Works" in the Milwaukee Ave. Window Gallery

Ali Aschman constructs poetic narratives and psychological self-portraits through intuitive association of images and objects. In her new body of work, small porcelain figures, in various states of bodily distress and embroiled in ambiguous power struggles, are set against drawings of desolate yet alluring spaces – an empty bedroom, a dark cave. The works express feelings of discomfort, desire and defiance.

In her new body of work Emma Robbins combines imagery and objects found on the Navajo Reservation with materials that are commonly associated with Native Americans. She merges Blue Bird Flour bags, a cotton fabric used by modern Navajos and that Robbins has worked with obsessively over the years, with items of the Indian archetype such as black hair and brightly colored feathers. The resulting objects are paired with photographs from the Rez (Native American Reservation), portraying the world that she grew up in. She weaves both humor and her own personal histories in her installations, textiles and photos to explore both representations of Indigenous Peoples in popular culture and life on the Rez.


Ali Aschman is a visual artist and animator from Cape Town, South Africa, living and working in Chicago. Recent exhibitions includeNorthwestern University, Chicago Artists Coalition, Hyde Park Art Center, and Spudnik Press, and she has screened her animations at film festivals around the world including Athens International Film and Video Festival, Holland Animation Film Festival, CutOut Fest and Animasivo. Aschman earned a BA from the University of Cape Town and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Emma Robbins is an artist, activist, and environmentalist originally from the Navajo Nation in Arizona. She completed her BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and studied Contemporary and Modern Latin American Art in Argentina. She currently splits her time between Los Angeles and the Rez, with her dog Cindy Sherman, where she works as a director for a human rights organization that provides people on the reservation with clean, running water.