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Review: Eric Holubow/Chicago Cultural Center

Michigan Avenue, Photography Add comments

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An inveterate ruins photographer with an unabashed eye for the beauties of dereliction, Eric Holubow travels from the Northeast to the Midwest in search of abandoned churches, factories, schools, hospitals and theaters with the aim of rendering them with a majestic sweep in finely detailed and slightly muted color through his wide-angle lens. Holubow’s subjects have sometimes been nearly decimated, like the old Packard auto plant in Detroit that he shoots from inside its gutted shell looking out through a gap in a wall on a faded green field with traces of industry in the far distance. Moss and trees have grown rife in the rubble, taggers have festooned the remaining walls with their handiwork, and an ample car seat faces the field inviting the adventurous sightseer to take a rest. The effect is almost surreal. Most of Holubow’s subjects are more intact, and from a distance give the impression of integrity; but then we get closer and see that everything is about to crumble to bits if it is given a prod or two. The sense of structure hanging on by a knife’s edge is captivating. (Michael Weinstein)

Through July 8 at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 East Washington

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