Fractal Semblance curated by Stephanie Cristello and Allison Glenn

Work by Robert Chase Heishman, Jessica Labatte, Alistair Matthews, & Liz Nielsen

CHICAGO, IL. In this moment of early 21st century American conceptual photography, illusionistic space is being redefined. Through use of heavy pattern, color fields, and frames within a frame, Fractal Semblance breaks and pieces back together a tradition of still life in painting – and the shattered remnants of art history that may wash up on its shores. By abstracting spatiality, eschewing depth of field, and denying three-dimensionality, we see a return to formal means of combating the figure-ground. Like staring into a shattered reflection, fiction lies on the surface of each image in the exhibition. Untouched by digital processes, the spaces captured by lens and light are achieved by optic manipulation – through the ability of the photograph to represent the flatness of form. This syntactical combination of images within images presents the familiar language of trompe l’oeil in a new context. In reference to past motifs, yet abstracted and contemporary, these artists impart the attitude of a mise-en-abyme, and all its possibilities – as if one was peering into an infinite hall of mirrors.