Barbara Crane: The Polaroid Years March 2 — April 14, 2018

Barbara Crane is recognized as one of the leading conceptual artists to have emerged from The Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. With more than ninety solo exhibitions to date, including seven retrospectives, Crane has solidified her place as one of the most important experimental photographers today. For twenty-eight years she taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago becoming one of the most renowned educators worldwide, while consistently working on her own photography. She retired from teaching in 1995, and is currently working on several book projects.

Many of us have had a love affair with the Polaroid camera. It was the first time we instantly saw what we had photographed. The sound of the film emerging from the camera, the long wait for the image to fully appear… it seemed like magic. Barbara Crane was one of a handful of photographers who was given unlimited access to Polaroid film, allowing her to experiment and push the boundaries of the material. Several of these pieces will be on view, including some of her seminal SX-70 grids that examined repetition and its power to elevate simple patterns into majestic effects. In Polka Dots I, 1980, a grid of red dots play against a yellow backdrop, begging the viewer to see the difference between each frame. In Tucson, 1979, Crane manipulates Polaroid packfilm with a scribe, moving around the emulsion to create an outline of the subjects. And in Private Views, 1981, Crane spent time photographing at Chicago beaches and summer festivals, focusing on the people that make the city so culturally diverse. The Polaroid Years marks the return of Barbara Crane’s work to CEG, where it was first exhibited in 1989, shortly after the gallery opened. We are thrilled to celebrate this milestone with her.

Barbara Crane‘s work can be found in numerous collections worldwide including George Eastman Museum (Rochester, NY), The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL), Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY), Library of Congress (Washington, DC), Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, IL), Bibliotheque Nationale (Paris, France), Museum of Photography (Thessaloniki, Greece), Amon Carter Museum of American Art (Forth Worth, TX), among others. She is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts grants in 1974 and 1988, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in Photography in 1979, as well as many other grants and honors. Her archive will be housed at the Center for Creative Photography (Tucson, AZ), allowing the public and educators an opportunity to study her work in perpetuity. 

Barbara Crane, a pioneering internationally renowned art photographer and influential educator, has explored photography as a vehicle for creative expression for over sixty years. A forerunner in experimental and abstract photography, Crane has explored numerous photographic processes throughout her extensive career. The result has been an ongoing evolving body of conceptually consistent work, varied in approach and experimental in style. An early investigator of repetition and deconstruction of visual information, she has experimented extensively with sequences, grids, scrolls, and large modular murals. Crane has worked in many formats and materials, ranging from intimate in size to large scale, utilizing such diverse photographic approaches as platinum palladium, Polaroid processes, image transfers, gelatin silver and digital.



Born in Chicago in 1928, Crane studied at Mills College in California, completing her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art History at New York University, and in 1966 received her Master of Science Degree from the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology. She began teaching photography in 1964 and in 1967 joined the faculty at the prestigious School of the Art Institute of Chicago, retiring from teaching in 1995 as Professor Emerita of Photography.



Crane’s photographic work has been featured in over ninety solo exhibitions since 1965 and seven retrospective exhibitions of her work have been mounted to date. The most recent, “Barbara Crane: Challenging Vision,” an extensive career retrospective, was accompanied by a major monograph of the same title. The exhibition opened at the Chicago Cultural Center in October 2009 and has traveled to the Amon Carter Museum in Texas and the Griffin Museum of Photography in Massachusetts.



One of America’s leading photographic artists, Crane's work is included in numerous national and international collections including George Eastman House/International Museum of Photography, Rochester, NY, Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, Arizona, Bibliotheque Nationale and FNDC, Paris, France, Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, Greece, and WestLicht Museum of Photography, Vienna, Austria, in addition to private and corporate collections worldwide.



Crane has been the recipient of National Endowment for the Arts grants in 1974 and 1988, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in Photography in 1979, and an Illinois Arts Council Artists Fellowship Award in Photography in 2001. In 2006 she was honored as a Distinguished Artist by both the Union League Club of Chicago and Brown University, and was named the first recipient of the Ruth Horwich Award to a Famous Chicago Artist conferred by the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs in 2009. In 2013 she was honored by the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago and in 2015 received the Silver Camera Award from the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College in Chicago. In April 2016 she received the Professional Achievement Award from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

All images from Polaroid Grids are unique and available as 25 hinged polaroid prints (17½ x 17½") for $9500.

All images from Little Darlings are unique 3⅜ x 4¼" diptychs and 3⅜ x 6⅜" triptychs hinged Fuji instant color prints available for $250 and $300, respectively.

All images from Private Views are unique 4 x 5" and 8 x 10" Polaroid Polacolor Type 59 and 809 prints. Pieces range in price from $3600 to $4600.

All images from Tucson, AZ are unique 3⅜ x 4¼” Polaroid Polacolor type 668 prints available for $3200.

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

Barbara Crane
Diagonal Lines #2, 1980
Barbara Crane
Horizontal Lines, 1980
Barbara Crane
Horizontal Lines II, 1980
Barbara Crane
Little Darlings, 2012
Barbara Crane
Little Darlings, 2012
Barbara Crane
Little Darlings, 2011 - 2012
Barbara Crane
Little Darlings, 2012
Barbara Crane
Little Darlings, 2012
Barbara Crane
Little Darlings, 2012
Barbara Crane
Little Darlings, 2012

sold

Barbara Crane
Little Darlings, 2012
Barbara Crane
Little Darlings, 2012
Barbara Crane
Little Darlings, 2012
Barbara Crane
Little Darlings, 2012
Barbara Crane
Polka Dots 1, 1980
Barbara Crane
Polka Dots 2, 1980
Barbara Crane
Private Views [001], 1981-1984
Barbara Crane
Private Views [011], 1981
Barbara Crane
Private Views [012], 1981
Barbara Crane
Private Views [013], 1981
Barbara Crane
Private Views [014], 1981
Barbara Crane
Private Views [015], 1981
Barbara Crane
Private Views [016], 1981
Barbara Crane
Private Views [018], 1981
Barbara Crane
Private Views [019], 1981
Barbara Crane
Private Views [020], 1981
Barbara Crane
Private Views [021], 1981
Barbara Crane
Private Views [023], 1981
Barbara Crane
Private Views [025], 1981
Barbara Crane
Private Views [026], 1981
Barbara Crane
Private Views [027], 1981
Barbara Crane
Private Views, Coney Island, NY [002], 1982
Barbara Crane
Private Views, Coney Island, NY [003] and Private Views, Mardi Gras [006], 1981-1984
Barbara Crane
Private Views, Coney Island, NY [004] and Private Views [007], 1981-1984
Barbara Crane
Private Views, Mardi Gras, 1982 [005], 1982
Barbara Crane
Private Views, Mardi Gras, New Orleans, LA [008] and [009], 1981-1984
Barbara Crane
Swap Meet, Tuscon, AZ [011], 1979/80
Barbara Crane
Tanque Verde Tuscon, AZ [010], 1980
Barbara Crane
Tuscon Swap Meet [009], 1979/80
Barbara Crane
Tuscon, AZ [001], 1979/80
Barbara Crane
Tuscon, AZ [002], 1979/80
Barbara Crane
Tuscon, AZ [003], 1979/80
Barbara Crane
Tuscon, AZ [004], 1980
Barbara Crane
Tuscon, AZ [005], 1979/80
Barbara Crane
Tuscon, AZ [006], 1980
Barbara Crane
Tuscon, AZ [008], 1980
Barbara Crane
Tuscon, AZ [012], 1979
Barbara Crane
Tuscon, AZ [013], 1979
Barbara Crane
Tuscon, AZ [014], 1979
Barbara Crane
Tuscon, AZ [015], 1979
Barbara Crane
Tuscon, AZ [016], 1979