Brian Ulrich  (American, 1971) 

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Brian Ulrich (American, b.1971) is a photographer and artist whose work primarily concerns itself with American consumer culture. Ulrich was born in Northport, NY, and obtained his BFA in Photography at the University of Akron. In 2004 he received his MFA, also in Photography, at Columbia College Chicago. While completing an internship at the Akron Art Museum, Ulrich became fascinated by art and social history, as well as the increasing consumerism in the United States after 9/11. He began to work on his primary series of photographs, Copia, in 2001. The series first depicted shoppers and their surroundings in big box retail outlets in a very obvious display of consumerism. After being shown in a variety of galleries across America and overseas, Ulrich decided to divide Copia into more diverse chapters. In addition to the original collection, Retail, Ulrich has more recently documented thrift and discount stores and their shoppers in Thrift, as well as out of business malls and shops in Dark Stores. The series, as a whole, is meant to explore the balance between banality and humanity in these retail environments in a range of social classes.

Ulrich has received a great deal of acclaim for his photographs and has garnered the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship for photography in 2009. He published Is This Place Great Or What, a monograph of his decade-long Copia project, in 2011. His work has also appeared in a variety of magazines, and Ulrich is also a regular contributor to the anti-consumerist magazine Adbusters.

Ulrich currently lives in Richmond, VA. Over the past number of years, he has turned his attention towards teaching, serving as a professor at Columbia College Chicago and School of the Art Institute of Chicago until 2011. He is currently teaching in the photography and film department at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, as well as continuing to produce works for exhibitions and taking Copia on tour to museums across the United States. Ulrich is represented by Julie Saul Gallery in New York, Robert Koch Gallery in San Francisco, Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago, and Gallerie f5,6 in Munich.

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Brian Ulrich, Value City, from the series Dark Stores

 

Brian Ulrich
Value City, from the series Dark Stores
2008

Robert Koch Gallery
Brian Ulrich, Powerhouse Gym

 

Brian Ulrich
Powerhouse Gym
2008

Robert Koch Gallery
Brian Ulrich, New York, NY (Candy Store)

 

Brian Ulrich
New York, NY (Candy Store)
2005

Robert Koch Gallery
Brian Ulrich, Pep Boys 3

 

Brian Ulrich
Pep Boys 3
2009

Hagedorn Foundation Gallery
Brian Ulrich, OPA Model Grocery Store 1943

 

Brian Ulrich
OPA Model Grocery Store 1943
printed 2012

Hagedorn Foundation Gallery
Brian Ulrich, Citizens Co-operative Store owned by 400 citizens of Boys Brotherhood Republic, 1942

 

Brian Ulrich
Citizens Co-operative Store owned by 400 citizens of Boys Brotherhood Republic, 1942
printed 2012

Hagedorn Foundation Gallery
Brian Ulrich, Annual Sale at Bes-Ben Hat Shop, 1962

 

Brian Ulrich
Annual Sale at Bes-Ben Hat Shop, 1962
printed 2012

Hagedorn Foundation Gallery
Brian Ulrich, Chanel

 

Brian Ulrich
Chanel
Galerie f5,6
Brian Ulrich, Target

 

Brian Ulrich
Target
Galerie f5,6
Past auction results (1)  View All
Brian Ulrich, Untitled (Thrift)

 

Brian Ulrich
Untitled (Thrift), 2006
c-print

 

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1971   Born Northport, NY
  B.F.A., Photography, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio
  M.F.A., Photography, Columbia College, Chicago, Illinois
  Collections: Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Cleveland Museum of Art, OH; Larry Fields Collection, Chicago, IL; LaSalle Bank, Chicago, IL; Margulies Collection, Miami, FL; Milwaukee Art Museum, WI; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, CA; Museum of Fine Arts Houston, TX; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL
2008   World’s Away, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
2008   Variable Capital, Bluecoats Art Centre, Liverpool
2007   Chicagraphy, Falerie f5.6, Munich, Germany
2007   Act of Faith & Material Worlds, Nooderlicht Festival, Groningen, Netherlands
2007   Stalking Suburbia, Westport Art Center, Westport, NY
2007   Cornucopia: Documenting the Land of Plenty, Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA
2007   Ad | Agency, Photographic Resource Center, Boston, MA
2007   Branded and On Display, Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL, Tufts University Gallery, Medford, Mal Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZ (catalogue)
2006 - 2007   MP3, Kelli Connell, Justin Newhall and Brian Ulrich: Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago
2006 - 2007   Copia, Robert Koch Gallery, Julie Saul Gallery, Peter Miller Gallery, ArtUnit, Haarlem, The Netherlands (solo)
2005 - 2006   On the Scene: Jessica Rowe, Jason Salavon, and Brian Ulrich, Art Institute of Chicago
2005   12 x 12: New Artists/New Work: Shoppers, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
2005   Domestic Disturbance, Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL
2005   The New Chicagoans (Select Media Festival), Iron Studios, Chicago, IL
2005   Photography 2005: Double Exposure, The Renaissance Society, Chicago, IL
2005   Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie/Festival d’Arles, Arles, France
2005   Skinless Capital: Neoliberalism & Resistance, Opensource Art Gallery, Univ of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
2005   Manufactured Self, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL