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Break Here

Colleen Keihm & Nicole Mauser

Filter Photo is pleased to present Break Here, a two-person exhibition featuring the work of Colleen Keihm and Nicole Mauser, with an essay by Elizabeth Lalley.


In this collaborative two-person exhibition, Colleen Keihm and Nicole Mauser use photography, painting, collage, and installation to construct abstract disoriented spaces – making marks by removal and absence. The mechanical aspect of film photography by Keihm and exerted muscle memory embedded within painting by Mauser describe similar desires for control yet strategically leave openings in their process for unpredictability. These gaps become spaces for the viewer to inhabit. Physical cuts into material prioritize viewers’ engagement in perception so as to frame the act of looking as subject.


When creating the works, Keihm and Mauser play with forces of light to generate reflection, refraction, absorption and the inherent temporality before light begins escaping or completely erasing the image. Digital preservation efforts of scanning cause objects to advance and recede as graphic incisions ask the viewer to embrace desire and beauty with the in-between spaces. By creating portals or plans, they are constructing new ground to break. Look again, their structural principles and perceivable volume are intended to confuse.


About the Artists

Colleen Keihm believes that networked digital convenience continues to flatten our interface with the world while the chemical, mechanical, bendable photograph looks both more mundane and more enchanted. Her work uses photographic mediums to summarize points of life, create steady ground, and establish a controlled reflection of the future. Keihm received an MFA at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BA in Photography at Drexel University. Her work has been exhibited at Roman Susan, Flasch Library, Woman Made Gallery, Gallery 400, and Arc Gallery in Chicago. Her work is present within the photography collection at the Art Institute of Chicago and recently she rephotographed sites of interest for the Rogers Park Historical Society. In addition to her art practice, Keihm is an instructor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Wilbur Wright College, and Triton College.


Nicole Mauser’s paintings investigate the tensions at play between the physical materiality of paint and the legibility of images within a language of abstraction. Mauser earned an MFA from The University of Chicago and BFA from Ringling College of Art and Design in painting and printmaking. Artworks have been exhibited nationally and internationally at rK Gallerie Lichtenberg (Berlin, Germany), Tiger Strikes Asteroid (Brooklyn, NY), Carrie Secrist Gallery (Chicago, IL), Reynolds Gallery (Richmond, VA) and many others. Permanent collections include the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (Overland Park, KS) and The Alexander (Indianapolis, IN). She was a co-founder of the artist-run gallery PLUG Projects and the Kansas City Plein Air Coterie (KCPAC). Mauser was a HATCH resident at the Chicago Artists Coalition and a DCASE Artist Grant recipient in 2017 and 2018. Currently, she is a Lecturer at The University of Chicago and lives/works in Chicago, IL.


On View: December 7 – January 5, 2018

Location: Filter Space | 1821 W Hubbard St, Suite 207

This exhibition was partially sponsored by The Illinois Arts Council Agency and a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.

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