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Melanie Schiff

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Chicago, IL

Birth year

Lives in
Los Angeles, CA

Works in
Los Angeles, CA


Representing galleries


Melanie Schiff was born in Chicago, IL and lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Throughout Schiff's work, multiple themes and symbols recur such as her playful use of light, landscape, the body, pop culture and ideas of spirituality and meditation. The moments she addresses are quiet and waver on the edge of a constructed poetic narrative and an instant found by chance. Her investigations and use of natural light through windows and objects such as empty CD cases and light fixtures form prisms of color and phenomenon of light and shadow. One might point to magic or alchemy as a starting point of her work, though these moments of chance and mystery infiltrate the commonplace detritus of an event including scattered beer cans, bottles, books, records and personal effects revealing what could be seen as a spiritual happening through a series of mundane objects...(excerpt taken from press release for Underwater Photographer @ Kavi Gupta Gallery, Dec. 1, 2006 - Jan. 28, 2007)

Solo Exhibitions
2009 Melanie Schiff, Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago, IL
2007 UBS 12x12, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Water Birth, Galerie Haus Schneider, Uschi Kolb, Karlsruhe, Germany
2006 Underwater Photographer, Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago, IL
2004 New Photographs, Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago, IL

Group Exhibitions


NADA Art Fair, Miami Beach, FL
Foreclosed, The Print Center, Philadelphia, PA, Sept. 11 - Nov. 26, 2008
All my favorite singers couldn’t sing, Workplace Gallery, Gateshead, UK
Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, NY
Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967, curated by Dominic Molon, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL ;traveling to Musée d’art Contemporain de Montréal, Québec
Unknown Pleasures, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO
Recent Acquisitions: Focus on Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Galerie Laurent Godin, Paris, France
Summer Show, Cohan and Leslie, New York, NY


Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967, curated by Dominic Molon, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
Spring Break 2007, Roots & Culture Contemporary Art Center, Chicago, IL
Frownland, Tony Tasset solo show, collaboration photo w/ Tony Tasset, VONZWECK, Chicago, IL


James Hotel Mixart exhibit, James Hotel, curated by Dominic Molon Chicago, IL


Autonomy, Foxy Production, curated by Sterling Ruby, New York, NY
Into the Woods, Thomas McCormick Gallery, Chicago, IL
Sitting, Standing, Reclining II, Modern Culture, New York, New York
Exploding Plastic Inevitable, curated by Simon Watson, Bergdorf Goodman, New York, NY
Stilled Life, Placemaker Gallery, curated by Brian Sholis, Miami, Florida

2008 Rose, Sara. “A Crowded Showcase for Everything and Anything.” The Boston Globe, March 6, 2008
2008 Whitney Biennial Catalogue
Books and Plants, artist catalogue with interview by Brian Sholis
Schwabsky, Barry. “Introducing Melanie Schiff.” Modern Painters , February , pg. 54-56
Cochran, Jessica. “Five Alive!” CS Magazine, Feb. 2008
Eler, Alica. “Chat Room: Melanie Schiff.” Centerstage, Feb 2008
2007 Weinstein, Michael. “Tip of the Week.” New City Chicago 8 May 2007
MacKenzie, Joanna Topor. “After Paschke.” Chicago Magazine April 2007, p. 20
Berger, Elijah. Review. artUS Issue 17. March – April 2007 (cover image)
Orden, Abraham. “The Windy Apple.” Artnet Magazine Jan. 2007
Sholis, Brian, “Critic’s Pick.” Jan. 2007
Camper, Fred. “Everyday Beauty.” Chicago Reader 5 Jan 2007
McKinnon, John. Review. Time Out Chicago 4-10 Jan 2007
Weinstein, Michael. Review. New City Chicago Jan 2007
2005 Sandler, Carrie. “Art Groupie: Photographs for a Song” UR Magazine 16 June 2006
2004 Ferrara, Annette. “The (Left) of Centerfold.” TENbyTEN Romance Issue, Vol. 3 No.
Hannum, Terence. Review. Bridge Magazine December Issue.
Hannum, Terence. Review. Panel House May 2004
2002 Velez, Pedro. “Rock ‘n’ Raunch.” August 2002

2006 Artadia Award Grant Recipient
2001-2000 UIC Neisser Award
1999 Graduated with Honors from New York University
1999 Undergraduate Fellow, The National Graduate Seminar, New York, New York

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

Books & Plants, Published by Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago
Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967, curated by Dominic Molon, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

2002 MFA, University of Illinois-Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
1999 BFA, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts
1996 Colorado College
1995 University of London, Goldsmiths College

Recent Exhibits

Melanie Schiff participated in these exhibits:

Sep, 2015 MONDAY ME: Art Exhibition Organized by Kristen Van Deventer, Featuring Twenty-Three Distinct Voices
Drag City Soccer Club Club
Jul, 2015 Photography Sees the Surface
Higher Pictures
Team Gallery - Grand St
Team Gallery - Wooster St.
Kate Werble Gallery
Aug, 2014 Trains
Night Gallery
Click here to see all exhibits for Melanie Schiff
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