Angie McMonigal

McMonigal

Quilting The City

 

In the city that built the first skyscraper, the lines that structure the urban landscape run north and south, east and west thus creating ‘the grid’. This is not just a tool for getting around; it’s the secret code that makes order out of chaos. However, the most striking lines are the ones that run from street to sky. The facades of Chicago’s imposing towers make up this whole other grid, the one staring straight at you, composed of windows, beams, balconies, pillars, rooflines.

 
We are surrounded by horizontal and vertical lines repeating rhythmically in steel, brick, stone, and glass. I’ve started to see this grid as a quilt. Because I don’t just see individual buildings standing there as imposing towers of steel. I see a patchwork. Different colors, different textures, different materials, different architectural styles, all pieced together. Some patches are pristine and new, others a little more worn. There are iconic patterns, immediately recognizable, and also bits that are hard to identify, fragments that feel familiar but are hard to place. Some blocks make clear that they were destined to be joined together, others look like accidents, or even challenging points of tension.

 
We often think of photographs as capturing a single moment in time. A shutter clicks, an instant is preserved. When I started photographing the city as an urban quilt, I became more aware of the way these buildings preserve different moments from our history. Those moments aren’t arranged in a nice orderly timeline like you’d find in a history book or a museum display. They’re standing next to each other, layered on top of one another. My photographs flatten out the miles between the streets and erase the years that separate one construction project from the next. It’s all stitched together now on a single plane.

 

Angie McMonigal moved to Chicago more than 15 years ago and has been exploring the city with her camera ever since. Raised in a small town in Wisconsin, she approaches the urban environment with the spirit of someone who grew up surrounded by nature, finding moments of meditative calm in terrain that is always transforming. Focusing more frequently on bold architectural details rather than sweeping cityscapes, her photographs celebrate those unexpectedly iconic elements hiding in plain sight. From landmark buildings she distills the essential lines and textures that frame the city. McMonigal sees these structures as actively shaping, and shaped by, human activity; they are never mere backdrop. Steel and brick towers are presented as quilts rich with history, solid structures soar with soul, and concrete edifices echo the lofty ambition of planners and dreamers.

 

An award-winning fine art photographer, Angie’s work has been internationally exhibited and published. Her photos have been showcased by galleries in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and other destinations. Publication credits include National Geographic, Departures, and SHOTS Magazine. She has received awards from the International Photography Awards (IPA) and Prix de la Photographie Paris (Px3), among others. 

All images are available as 16 x 16" pigments prints made in an edition of 15 for $600.


Please call: (312) 266-2350 for prices of specific pieces.
Prices are print only unless otherwise indicated.

Angie McMonigal
Urban Quilt 0119, 2016
Angie McMonigal
Urban Quilt 1083, 2014
Angie McMonigal
Urban Quilt 7702, 2016
Angie McMonigal
Urban Quilt 7926, 2016
Angie McMonigal
Urban Quilt 8108, 2016
Angie McMonigal
Urban Quilt 8443, 2016
Angie McMonigal
Urban Quilt 8473, 2016
Angie McMonigal
Urban Quilt 8483, 2016
Angie McMonigal
Urban Quilt 9145, 2016