John Opera and Adam Schreiber: Liquid Intelligence

April 17 – May 14, 2016
Reception: Sunday, April 17, 3-6 pm
Artists Talk/Closing Reception: Saturday, May 14, 2:30 – 5 pm
Curated by Gregory Harris

Chicago-based artists John Opera and Adam Schreiber utilize rudimentary image-making processes as a means of exploring photography’s most elemental nature. Opera creates fleeting abstract images of ink marbled in water and prints them as Anthotypes, a primitive photographic process derived from the colorful light sensitive chemicals found in plants. The Anthotype process, like Opera’s source images, is unstable and the photographs are in constant flux as they gradually fade. Schreiber’s vivid, minimal portraits activate the experience of looking and being-seen. Made with large-format paper negatives and a process of reversals, Schreiber connects his work to the origins of photography and the conventions of the photographic gaze. Both Opera and Schreiber relish the materiality of their chosen medium, accentuating what the photograph is rather than simply what it is of.
–Gregory Harris

John Opera, Z4, 2012, anthotype (beet), 20.5 x 17”

SchreiberAdam Schreiber, Digital Tools for Visual Thinking, 2012, silver gelatin paper negative in artist’s frame, 20 x 16”

About the Artists and the Curator

Adam Schreiber was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His photographs are the product of a research-intensive, archive-mining practice that investigates photographic objectivity. He has been included in group exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, International Center of Photography, and Higher Pictures, New York. He has had solo shows at Sasha Wolf Gallery, New York; Contemporary Art Museum, Houston; Linda Pace Foundation; and Artpace, San Antonio, where he was an artist in residence. Schreiber is the recipient of a 2014 Graham Foundation Grant for Living High, Letting Die. He is a founding member of Austin-based Lakes Were Rivers, an artist collective that has exhibited commissioned work at the Ransom Center and, most recently, The Contemporary Austin, as part of Strange Pilgrims. He lives in Austin and Chicago.

John Opera was born in Buffalo, New York. He earned his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2005. His work has been the subject of a two-person exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (2011) and is featured in the second volume of MP3, co-published by Aperture and the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago (2008). His recent solo exhibitions include Higher Pictures, New York (2015) and Loudhailer Gallery, Los Angeles (2014) as well as group exhibitions at Transformer Station, Cleveland (2016), Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago (2016), and Glass Curtain Gallery, Chicago (2016). He is currently represented by Higher Pictures, New York. Opera lives and works in Chicago.

Gregory Harris is the assistant curator at the DePaul Art Museum, where he has curated several exhibitions including Sonja Thomsen: Glowing Wavelengths in Between (2015), The Sochi Project: An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus (2014), and Studio Malick: Portraits from Mali (2012). Harris is also the author of the exhibition catalogs We Shall: Photographs by Paul D’Amato (2013)Matt Siber: Idol Structures (2015), and Liminal Infrastructure (2015). Harris is a founding editor of the photobook press Skylark Editions and serves on the board of LATITUDE Chicago. He earned a BFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago and an MA in art history from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.