The Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) announced that its upcoming 40th Anniversary Benefit Auction to take place on February 25 will pay homage to philanthropist Sonia Bloch and acclaimed Chicago artist Barbara Kasten, presenting each woman with the Silver Camera Award in honor of their contributions to the medium of photography.
Bloch, a founding member of the MoCP, and her husband Theodore Bloch, have supported the museum by donating photographs from their collection, including a series of photographs by Walker Evans and the iconic “Migrant Mother” image by Dorothea Lange. The Blochs have also made financial contributions to purchase essential works for the permanent collection and supported key exhibitions.
Barbara Kasten, a Chicago native and former professor of photography at Columbia College, is best known for her pioneering exploration of photographic abstraction. For decades, Kasten has experimented with mirrors, glass, lighting and colors to reimagine architectural details and generate abstract photographic spaces. A major survey of her work is currently on display at Chicago’s Graham Foundation through January 9, 2016 in partnership with the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial. The MoCP holds ten of Kasten’s works in their permanent collection.
An estimated fifty works by artists including Richard Misrach, Catherine Wagner and Victor Skrebneski will be auctioned off in live and silent auctions, presented by Christie’s and Paddle8, in support of the MoCP’s exhibition, education and community engagement programs. Many of the auction items come from artists whose work is included in the MoCP’s permanent collection or are featured in the MoCP’s Midwest Photographers Project (MPP), an expansive resource of contemporary regional photography. Veronique Bushala, Sandro Miller and Jessica Nielsen are co-chairing the benefit event.
Chaz Olajide, marketing and communications manager at the MoCP, shared enthusiasm and new information about the benefit with Newcity, “The event will include a site-specific pop-up gallery and lounge, which will feature all the works available for bidding night-of. Barbara Kasten will be at the event, speaking with the MoCP executive director Natasha Egan and MoCP curators.” Last year, the DARKROOM benefit honored Chicago photographer Barbara Crane with the Silver Camera Award.
Tickets to DARKROOM start at $175 for individuals, $325 for VIP, $600 for a portfolio of four Individual tickets and $1200 for a portfolio of four VIP tickets. The event will be held at Morgan Manufacturing, 401 North Morgan Street on February 25, 2016. The MoCP is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. In 2016, the MoCP celebrates its fortieth anniversary with an expansive exhibition of photography and archival material from the museum’s permanent collection. (Whitney Richardson)
Elliot J. Reichert is a Chicago-based curator, critic, and editor. He is a currently Curator of Contemporary Art at the Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana Unversity, and Hatch Projects Curatorial Resident at the Chicago Artist Coalition. Formerly, he was Art Editor of Newcity and Assistant Curator at the Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University. His writing has been published in The Brooklyn Rail, the Journal of Visual Culture, and Newcity.