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Ali Aschman

  • 20150128232548-paper_detail
  • 20150128232755-memento_mori_suitcase
  • 20150204194122-hands_cropped_web
  • 20150204194215-the_wrong_story_-_still
  • 20150128232833-they_stroke_the_world_like_a_pet_smaller
  • 20150128232850-like_a_noose_cropped
  • 20150128232903-an_ordinary_burden_-_web
  • 20150128232913-the_passage_-_web
  • 20150204193838-elsewhere_1
  • 20150204193931-elsewhere__the_survivors_4
  • 20150204200714-elsewhere_face_web
  • 20150207212906-your_goodbye_my_unspoken_scene
  • 20150128232915-dead_weight
  • 20150128232922-the_survivors_-_web
  • 20150128232952-screen1
  • 20150128233004-wide3
  • 20150204193824-the_thief_still_2


United States

Birth year

Lives in

Works in


School of The Art Institute of Chicago, 2013, MFA


I create hand-made worlds exploring emotional states and personal experiences, using  animation, drawing, printmaking and sculptural processes, often combined in installations. Mysterious, melancholy narratives raise questions about human interactions - moments of convergence and separation between individuals, the brutality we inflict on one another, physically and emotionally, and the impulses we suppress.

I experiment with narrative forms, and am interested in how an allegory can be conveyed through moving and still images, kinetic and static objects and sculptural tableaux. I employ symbolic motifs such as long braids, detached limbs, unusual bodily openings, forests and caves, which through intuitive association form fractured narratives and psychological self-portraits. I embrace incoherence and ambiguity to communicate the fragmented and uneasy experience of being both overwhelmingly alone and irrefutably connected to the human race.


Curriculum Vitae:


  • MFA in Studio (Printmedia), School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2013)
  • BA in Fine Art and Philosophy, University of Cape Town, South Africa (2006)

Solo and Two-Person Exhibitions

  • Let's Not Talk About the Weather, The Whistler (window gallery), Chicago, IL (2015)
  • The Wrong Story, Spudnik Press Cooperative, Chicago, IL (2014)
  • Ali Aschman, King Art Collective, Chicago IL (2013)
  • Crocodile Tears, Parlour, Brooklyn, NY, with Andrzej Nowicki (2009)
  • The Moonlight Wisteria, Whatiftheworld, Cape Town (2007) 

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • Natural Wonder: the Rensing Center Story, Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, Greenville, SC (2014)
  • Future Sad, Grace Exhibition Space, Brooklyn, NY (2014)
  • Mundane Talismans, Starwalker Gala at Mana Contemporary, Chicago, IL (2014)
  • ACTIVATE, Chicago Loop Alliance, Chicago, IL (2014)
  • Luminarts Visual Arts Competition, Union League Club of Chicago, IL (2014)
  • MFA Show, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL (2013)
  • Layered Cities and the Portable Studio, Kriti Gallery, Varanasi, India (2013)
  • Small Worlds, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL (2012)
  • Beyond Print: Across Dimensionality, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL (2012)
  • Civic & Arts Foundation Visual Arts Competition, Union League Club of Chicago, IL (2012)
  • Ex, Space 38|39, New York, NY (2012)
  • Assemble, Carousel Project, Chicago, IL (2012)
  • Gimme Some Truth, IN RiVERS, Brooklyn, NY (2011)
  • Cutters, Parlour, Brooklyn, NY (2011)
  • Opening Rejection, Williamsburg Walks, Brooklyn, NY (2011)
  • Pull the Devil’s Tail, Greenpoint Reform Church, Brooklyn, NY (2011)
  • Aux Follies, IN RiVERS, Brooklyn, NY (2011)
  • Desert Island, Space 1026, Philadelphia, PA (2011)
  • New Year, New Work, New Faces, Storefront, Brooklyn, NY (2011)
  • The Box Which Contains The World, Brooklyn Fire Proof, Brooklyn, NY (2010)
  • Parlour #17: Fragments, Staten Island, NY (2010)
  • Spazi Segreti, or Mendacity, Mood, Centotto, Brooklyn, NY (2010)
  • THE MERZBUSH, Norte Maar, Brooklyn, NY (2010)
  • Housebroken, Flux Factory, Long Island City, NY (2010)
  • The End is Like the Beginning, Cinders, Brooklyn, NY (2009)
  • Marginalia, MTS Gallery, Anchorage, AK (2009)
  • The Wassaic Project, Wassaic, NY (2009)
  • Love is Like Magic, Cinders, Brooklyn, NY (2009)
  • India Street Mural Project, North Brooklyn Public Art Coalition, Brooklyn, NY (2009)
  • Printing Money, The South African Print Gallery, Cape Town (2009)
  • The Isle of Misfits, Canteen, Ottawa, Canada (2009)
  • Between Worlds, Curious Matter, Jersey City, NJ (2008)
  • Whatiftheworld, Hong Kong (2007)
  • Graduate Show, Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town (2006)
  • Not Yet Famous presents Nobody Likes Nothing, Whatiftheworld, Cape Town (2006)

Film Festivals

Elsewhere, the Survivors 

  • Taos Shortz Film Festival, Taos NM
  • Art Film Festival 2015, Cannes, France
  • Tricky Women 2015, Vienna, Austria
  • Outlier Film Festival 2014, Halifax NS, Canada
  • CutOut Fest 2014, Queretaro, Mexico
  • Butter Elbow Animation Festival 2014, Chicago IL
  • canaltown Short Spooky Movie Festival 2014, Honesdale PA
  • World Animation Celebration 2014, Los Angeles CA
  • Festimation 2014, Missoula MT
  • Rabbitfest 2014, Perugia, Italy
  • Strange Beauty Film Festival 2014, Durham NC
  • Milwaukee Underground Film Festival 2014, Milwaukee, WI - WINNER: BEST ANIMATION 
  • Athens International Film and Video Festival 2014, Athens, OH - Honorable Mention, Animation Category
  • Athens Animfest 2014, Athens, Greece

The Thief

  • Embarras Valley Film Festival 2014, Charleston, IL - First Place, Student-Produced Short Film Contest
  • Milwaukee Underground Film Festival 2014, Milwaukee, WI

Residencies and Awards

  • Hatch Projects Artist Resident, 2014-2016
  • The Center Program, Hyde Park Art Center, 2014
  • Elsewhere Artist-in-Residence, Fall 2014
  • Illinois Arts Council Professional Development Grant, 2014
  • The League Residency at Vyt, Fall 2014 - Ruth Katzman Scholarship
  • The Rensing Center Artist-in-Residence, Summer 2014
  • Spudnik Press Spring Artist-in-Residence, 2014
  • Luminarts Cultural Foundation Visual Arts Fellow, 2014


Elsewhere Museum, “2014 | Artist|Ali Aschman”, Elsewhere Video (website), November 12, 2014.

Adam Becker, “A haunted, handmade world”, Design Indaba: Next Generation (website), October 10, 2014.

Fernanda Aguillón, “The Thief”, CutOut Fest (website), October 14, 2014.

Mike Steyerl, “Bushwick Open Studios ’10 Profile: Ali Aschman”, BushwickBK (blog). June 8th, 2010.

Aaron Short, “Artist Ali Aschman’s ‘Melancholy’ Mural“, BushwickBK (blog). December 15, 2009.

Nathan Punwar, “The Endless Disappearance of Everything”, (short documentary about Ali Aschman). August 2009.


Recent Exhibits

Ali Aschman participated in these exhibits:

Jan, 2015 Let's not talk about the weather
The Whistler
Jul, 2014 The Wrong Story—New Work by Ali Aschman
The Annex @ Spudnik Press Cooperative
May, 2012 EX
The Carousel Space Project
May, 2012 Ex: Creative Collaboration
Space 38|39
Mar, 2012 Assemble
The Carousel Space Project
May, 2011 Aux Follies An Improper Residency
In Rivers Art Space
Click here to see all exhibits for Ali Aschman
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