Ciurej & Lochman

(Barbara Ciurej (b. 1957, resides in Chicago, IL); Lindsay Lochman (b. l952, resides in Wauwatosa, WI))

Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman’s series Exquisite Wreck reflects on physical beauty and ideal types in elegant, vertically composed, black-and-white figure studies of women’s bodies. Ranging from pregnant to pierced, bodies with luminous, almost ethereal, white skin against flat black backgrounds reference Classical and Renaissance poses: the contrapposto stance, the straight frontal view, the seated nude seen from the back that refers to Man Ray’s photograph Violin d’Ingres and the painting it pays homage to. The flawless smooth skin could well be marble. The similarity to sculpture is emphasized by the fragmentation of the figures, with torsos generally missing some combination of legs, arms, and head. Not only do these images play off the tension between old and new views of the body, but so does the technique use to create them: the final prints are digitally altered, but come from the large-format negative associated with traditional portraiture and early photography.

Ciurej and Lochman began collaborating on photography in 1978. They both serve as photographer and model, together developing the theme, editing the work, and shaping the direction of the project. Women, aging, and the domestic world are recurring subjects in their work. Ciurej received her BS (1978) and Lochman her MS (1977) in Visual Design from the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. They have exhibited in Chicago at The Chicago Cultural Center; Artemisia Gallery; Museum of Contemporary Art; and The School of The Art Institute Gallery; and in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. Their work is included in the collections of The Art Institute of Chicago; the Bauhaus Archives, Weimar, Germany; the Chicago Historical Society; the Milwaukee Art Museum; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.