Retail and Dark Stores : Brian Ulrich

June 27 - August 22, 2009


Brian Ulrich was born 1971 in Northport, NY. His photographs portraying contemporary consumer culture reside in major museum collections such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography.

Ulrich earned his MFA in photography at Columbia College Chicago and a BFA in photography at the University of Akron. An internship at the Akron Art Museum further fueled Brian's research and knowledge of the history of the medium. He later spent considerable time working at the Howard Greenberg Gallery in NY and then the Cleveland Museum of Art, often staying after hours to sift through the vast libraries, collections and archives of photography. It is this understanding of the history of the medium that informs much of his work which today addresses issues social, political and historical.

Since finishing his graduate studies in 2004, Ulrich has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; the Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago; the Julie Saul Gallery; and the Robert Koch Gallery. His work has also been included in many group exhibitions such as the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Photography; Galerie f5.6 in Munich; the Krannert Art Museum; the Contemporary American Photography Festival in Mannheim, Germany; the Walker Art Center and will be included in upcoming exhibits at the Carnegie Museum; among others.

His first monograph, Copia was published in 2006 by Aperture as part of the MP3: Midwest Photographers Project. In 2007 Ulrich was named one of the years 30 Emerging Photographers by Photo District News magazine, and a critic's pick by Richard Woodward for ARTnews magazine. His work has been recently featured in the New York Times Magazine; Orion Magazine; Vice Magazine; Mother Jones magazine; the Chicago Tribune; Artforum; Harper's; Leica World; Yvi Magazine and as a frequent contributor to the like-minded magazine Adbusters.

Ulrich lives and works in Chicago and in addition to teaching at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Columbia College, he curates exhibitions, and is an active member of a community of young photographers and artists both local and global through his website and blog. This spirit of community building extends to an active lecturing schedule, appearing at the Aperture Foundation, NY; the Myers School of Art; the Haggerty Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art La Jolla, CA; the Montserrat College of Art, MA; St. Edwards University, TX; the School of Visual Arts, NY; Mississippi State University, MS; Youngstown State University, OH; the University of Illinois, IL; the San Francisco Art Institute, CA; and the Society for Photographic Education National Conference in Miami, FL, East Tennessee State University, TN; and the Myers School of Art, OH.

Brian is represented by the Julie Saul Gallery in New York, the Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago, the Robert Koch Gallery in San Francisco and Galerie f5.6 in Munich.