Fractal Semblance

Work by Robert Chase Heishman, Jessica Labatte, Alistair Matthews, & Liz Nielsen; Curated by Stephanie Cristello and Allison Glenn

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.