Chris Verene’s first show at Postmasters will present over forty photographs made during the past twenty-six years.
This landmark exhibition of documentary storytelling chronicles a group of closely-knit characters from the photographer’s family and their rural Illinois community. The photographer is also one of the characters-- his blood bonds and bonds of friendship within the small town are carefully spelled out in simple handwritten captions atop the colorful pictures. Verene's new book, “Family,” published this summer, contains many of the images on view - it opens with his cousin Candi's divorce. Candi was made famous when her wedding picture appeared on the cover of Verene's first book ten years ago. Both husband and wife were fired in the Maytag factory closing described in
President Obama’s first address to the United States in 2004 and in the 2010 State of the Union. Theirs is not the only family torn apart by the economic struggles of the country, as Verene documents other similar stories. The exhibition will also bring to light recent developments in the artist’s intimate life, as his young child, Nico, Brooklyn-born and half-Puerto Rican, appears throughout the latest photographs, playing with his cousins and newfound friends in Galesburg. This show will offer an extraordinary, inspiring, hopeful, and sometimes sorrow-filled view into the true personal stories and private lives of the artist’s immediate and extended family in their small community as photographed throughout a lifetime in economically depressed Galesburg, Illinois. Museums currently showing Verene’s work include The Tate Modern, The San Francisco Museum of Art, and The New Orleans Museum of Art. Verene’s “Family” work continues an international tour of gallery exhibitions from 2010-2011.