Of the ten artists in this year’s edition of the gallery’s annual exhibit showcasing current experimental photography, Philip Feitelberg clearly takes top honors in his series of seamless digitally composed color scenarios that fuse the ordinary inhabitants of our world today with the fictive denizens of Claude Monet’s paintings. In Feitelberg’s most effective confection, two lovers embrace on a beach, nestled between two of Monet’s intimates who dwarf them as they do their own more distant thing. The key to Feitelberg’s compelling grafts is his strategy of presenting his contemporary subjects in clear straight-photographic terms, while placing them in a more ghostly, yet well-delineated pictorialist context dominated by Monet’s appropriated images. Feitelberg’s breakthrough—and it genuinely is one—is to turn postmodern play away from deconstruction and into a deeply satisfying synthesis that is intriguing for itself rather than for any comment on the limits of photographic realism. (Michael Weinstein)
Through October 24 at Flatfile Galleries, 217 N. Carpenter. (312)491-1190
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