Filter Photo is pleased to present The Universal, juried by Gregory Harris. Join us for a public reception concurrent with our other exhibition, Seeing the familiar for the first time, on September 20th, 6 – 9 pm during the 2019 Filter Photo Festival and Expo Chicago’s Art After Hours.

From 6:30pm – 8:30pm there will be The Slide Ride Food Truck in the parking lot of the Hubbard St Lofts.

“It is often noted that there are more photographs being made now than at any other time in the medium’s history. That sheer ubiquity of photography is at once daunting and thrilling, particularly when you are charged with selecting images that best articulate what is universal in photographic practice. The diversity of approaches and high caliber of the work submitted here are sure signs of the richness of contemporary photography and left me no shortage of stellar photographs from which to choose.

​As I made my way through the submissions, I kept returning to the wry observation made by the artist P.L. diCorcia that, “Photography is the foreign language everyone thinks they speak.” This remark touches on what makes photographs so endlessly fascinating: that they are immediately legible and familiar, yet still delightfully enigmatic.

The photographs gathered here coalesced around ideas and emotions that are fundamental to human existence— loss, longing, and a search for connection—and, though they don’t readily manifest in the visible world, have continually enticed photographers. The photographers included in The Universal deftly wield the medium’s distinct ability to take what may be utterly mundane and transform it into something truly captivating.

Many thanks to the photographers who submitted their work for consideration. The thoughtful engagement with photography displayed across these submissions is a testament to their talent and a tribute to Filter Photo’s vital role in fostering the photography community in Chicago and across the country.”

Gregory Harris

Associate Curator of Photography, High Museum of Art, Atlanta

​Image Credit © Rose Marie Cromwell

Participating Artists

Elijah Barrett

Yukari Chikura

Rose Marie Cromwell

Anastasia Davis

Barbara Diener

Gregg Evans

Jon Feinstein

Juan Giraldo

Jessica Harvey

Paul Jett

Mehves Lelic

John Lusis

Jordan Putt

Dawn Roe

Whitten Sabbatini

Kyle Seis

Alison Smith

Jean Sousa

Sara J. Winston

Guanyu Xu

Rana Young

Exhibition Dates: September 20 – October 19, 2019

Festival Reception: September 20 | 6 pm – 9 pm

Location: Filter Space 1821 W. Hubbard St., Ste. 207

Gallery Hours: Monday – Saturday 11 am – 5 pm


Filter Space

1821 W Hubbard St | Suite 207

Chicago | Illinois | 60622



Monday - Friday | 11am - 5pm 

Saturday | by appointment

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Filter Photo is partly supported by grants from The MacArthur Funds for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council Agency, a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, The Fogelson Family Foundation, and The Halo Hill Charitable Fund.