In the commodious world of animal photography, Colleen Plumb has carved out a unique niche, documenting in slightly muted yet distinct color the various ways in which assorted fauna find their places inside the human heart, gut and imagination, whether in the flesh or in reproductions. In her solo show “Animals Are Outside Today,” Plumb points out that we are radically ambivalent about animals, leading us to obsess about them, whether they strike fear or provoke greed in us, touch us with tenderness or envelope us with sentimentality. Take “Nungesser Elephant;” shot at dusk under a dark blue sky, an enormous model that is chipped here and there, stands abandoned, frozen on a flatbed trailer, as if waiting for a star turn. There is a mix of pathos and humor here that is bound together by absurdity and a sense of sometimes-moral irony that infuses Plumb’s images whatever mood she evokes. (Michael Weinstein)
Through April 30 at Union League Club of Chicago, 65 West Jackson
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