Crisitina Mittermeier

Crisitina Mittermeier

Artists are putting their stamp on Chicago exhibitions to spread messages of human communication, global conservation, racial discrimination, and gender inequality through a variety of mediums with maximum style.

In her sculpture exhibition “Future Fossils: SUM” (Sept. 7 – Nov. 13), Chicago artist Lan Tuazon shows how the 109 tons of waste produced during a person’s lifetime could be repurposed into a functional home. Built to scale and exhibited inside the two-story gallery at the Hyde Park Art Center, Tuazon presents a one-bedroom house that is constructed solely with recovered materials.

To extend the lifespan of used objects, the artist dissects, layers, and presses them into a stratification-like form that mimics fossils. Visitors are invited to contribute by dropping off plastic items to be shredded on site, which will then be turned into raw materials for sheet press companies. “I had no idea how impactful her work would be on piloting new materials from recovered plastics. This immersive installation will truly put into perspective the geologic weight of our consumer habits, while literally building inhabitable structures from waste,” says Art Center Director of Exhibition & Residency Programs Allison Peters Quinn who curated the show.

In partnership with Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special EventsArt on theMART will project works by conceptual artist Barbara Kruger (Sep. 17 – Nov. 25). The installation coincides with the Art Institute of Chicago’s presentation of “Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You.” (Sep. 19 – Jan 24), a comprehensive exhibition of Kruger’s output. “We are honored to feature the work of such a legendary contemporary artist on our platform,” says Cynthia Noble, Executive Director of Art on theMART. “With this installation, our site extends Kruger’s major retrospective beyond the museum walls and into the urban architectural environment, where the art is free and accessible to all. We are so pleased to collaborate with Kruger and the Art Institute on this significant alignment.”


“For more than four decades, the artist has been a consistent, critical observer of the ways in which images and words circulate through culture and more recently, the accelerated modes in which they inhabit our daily lives. At a time when dispersion has replaced distribution and memes rules the realm of visual information, her momentous installation will invite us to pay attention and carefully consider how we relate to one another,” adds Robyn Farrell, Associate Curator, Modern and Contemporary, Art Institute of Chicago.

Art Institute visitors can also view “Bisa Butler: Portraits” (through Sep. 6). This marks the first solo museum exhibition of the artist’s work which uses the traditionally marginalized medium of textiles and quilts to convey personal and historical narratives of the Black experience. “In my work I am telling the story — this African American side — of the American life,” says Butler. “History is the story of men and women, but the narrative is controlled by those who hold the pen.”

On Aug. 27, Hilton | Asmus Contemporary opens its doors for an opening event at 5 p.m. to kick off “Origins” — an exhibition of images by acclaimed National Geographic photographers/filmmakers Cristina Mittermeier and Paul Nicklen, both of whom are co-founders of Sea Legacy.

“The whole premise of Sea Legacy is that we’re experts at visual communication, and we’re going to be partnering with like-minded organizations that have the same mission that we do, to save the oceans,” explains Mittermeier. “The ocean is the largest ecosystem on our planet, and three billion people depend on coastal and marine resources.” As a ‘National Geographic Woman of Impact’, Mittermeier has worked in more than 100 countries on every continent to connect with an estimated 2.5 billion people about global climate change.

“We have decided to make 2021 our year of conservation. By this, I mean every single sale we make in our gallery this year will benefit a variety of conservation organizations, including organizations that support animals, oceans and other natural resources, in addition to our ongoing support of women’s and children’s causes,” says Arica Hilton, global advocate and Hilton | Asmus Contemporary founder. “Through the arts, Hilton | Asmus Contemporary is dedicated to making every single step and every breath we take, have a purpose. A global purpose. A higher purpose. We will be working with artists who search for solutions addressing the plight of our environment and the human condition.”

Paintings and mixed media works by Swedish artist Anna U Davis are showcased in “Reality Check” (through Nov. 28) at Chicago’s Swedish American Museum in Andersonville. The solo exhibition explores gender inequality, racial discrimination and climate change.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presents “Bani Abidi: The Man Who Talked Until He Disappeared” (Sep. 4 – June 5) showcasing nearly two decades of work by multidisciplinary Pakistani artist Bani Abidi. The artist uses her upbringing in Karachi and experiences while studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to inform her work which satirically critiques those in power. Organized by Sharjah Art Foundation, the exhibition includes video, photography, sound, and installations that explore transcultural connections with humor.

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First image: Bisa Butler. The Safety Patrol, 2018. Cavigga Family Trust Fund. © Bisa Butler.

Second Image: Untitled (Truth), 2013, Digital image courtesy of Barbara Kruger. ©

Cristina_Mittermeier_Astrapia_Hilton_Asmus_Contemporary

Crisitina Mittermeier

PAUL NICKLEN 

Paul Nicklen (Canadian) is a visual artist and marine biologist who has documented both the beauty and the plight of our planet for over 20 years. Paul’s photography informs and connects by creating an emotional bond with wild subjects in extreme conditions.

After a 20-year career of photographing for journalistic publications like National Geographic, Paul’s perpetuating dream is to revisit his archives for the true artistic gems and release them to the world. His ongoing journey is to continue photographing intimate, evocative, powerful subject matter to create a thought-provoking body of work. Paul hopes his viewers look into the eyes of the animals in his photographs and fall in love with their vulnerability.

In addition to being one of the world’s most renowned nature photographers, Paul is a well-known speaker, TED Talks participant, author, and National Geographic Fellow. In the past two decades, Paul has collaborated with scientists, filmmakers, conservationists, and explorers to create awareness and inspire action for global issues such as climate change.

Paul has garnered more than 30 of the highest awards given to any photographer in his field, earning a global following of celebrities, conservationists, and fans.

CRISTINA MITTERMEIER

One of the most respected voices in conservation photography and one of the most influential female photographers in the world, Cristina Mittermeier began her career as a Marine Biologist working in her native Mexico.

For the past twenty-five years, she has dedicated herself to inspiring a global audience to care about the delicate balance between human well-being and healthy ecosystems.

Cristina’s work has exhibited at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, The Miller Gallery in Cincinnati, The Paul Nicklen Gallery in New York, Xposure in the UAE , Art Basel Miami, Terras de Salitre/Mar de Mares Festival in Santiago, The Museum of Plastic Pop-Up in New York, The United Nations Headquarters in association with Disney and Girl Up, and at Fotografiska in Stockholm, Sweden.

Cristina is the co-founder of SeaLegacy, the founder and former president of the International League of Conservation Photographers, a board member for the WILD Foundation, an advisor on two major Conservation International programs, an esteemed public speaker, and a recipient of multiple internationally recognized awards for her photography. In 2016, Cristina received the Imaging Award for Photographers who Give Back and in 2018 was acknowledged as a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.

She is the editor of 26 conservation photography books and her Fine Art Coffee Table book, Amaze, is in its second printing.

Today, Cristina is the Co-founder of the conservation society, SeaLegacy, a National Geographic contributing photographer, a Sony Artisan of Imagery and the editor of 26 coffee table books on conservation issues. She is the first female photographer to reach 1M followers on Instagram and was a 2018 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. She is acknowledged as one of the most Influential Women in Ocean Conservation in 2018 by Ocean Geographic, and The Men’s Journal recently named her as one of the 18 Most Adventurous Women in the World.

Cristina is a pioneer in the use of powerful and emotive imagery to propel conservation efforts. Born in Mexico, Cristina is a marine biologist, photographer, and writer who specializes in issues surrounding fisheries and indigenous cultures.

HILTON | ASMUS CONTEMPORARY PRESENTS “ORIGINS”, AN EXHIBITION OF IMAGES BY WORLD-RENOWNED CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHERS PAUL NICKLEN AND CRISTINA MITTERMEIER

Crisitina Mittermeier

AUGUST 27, 2021  |  PAUL NICKLEN, CRISTINA MITTERMEIER

Paul Nicklen, Ephemeral Palace, 2012, archival pigment print. Courtesy of the artist.

CHICAGO – Hilton | Asmus Contemporary today announced a specially curated exhibition of images from the archives of acclaimed National Geographic photographers, filmmakers and marine biologists Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier. “ORIGINS,” will feature works from Nicklen and Mittermeier, co-founders of leading ocean conservancy organization Sea Legacy and partners with nearly 9 million combined followers on Instagram.

There will be an opening event open to the public on Friday, August 27 at 5 p.m. at Hilton | Asmus Contemporary’s new location in the Morgan Arts Complex at 3622 S. Morgan Street. Additionally, Hilton | Asmus Contemporary will host a VIP reception and book signing during the opening week. The Morgan Arts Complex is a newly renovated building dedicated to the arts, design and film in Chicago’s burgeoning arts neighborhood of Bridgeport.

“ORIGINS” runs through Saturday, October 2.

About Paul Nicklen

From ice diving with leopard seals, studying the horizon with lions in Africa, and battling the sub-zero temperatures of the arctic, Canadian born Paul Nicklen has spent the last 20 years documenting both the beauty and the plight of our planet. As one of the world’s most prominent nature photographers, TED Talks favorite (with almost 2.5 million views), Nicklen has used his art to spotlight endangered ecosystems and ignite a global awareness of climate change. After a 20-year career of photographing for prestigious publications including numerous cover images for National Geographic, Nicklen revisited his archives for the true gems to fulfill his lifelong dream of releasing them to the art world.

Nicklen has garnered more than 30 of the highest accolades given to any photographer in his field, earning a global following of prominent individuals, conservationists, and fans. He has published more than 20 stories for National Geographic and has been the recipient of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award and the prestigious World Press Photo award for photojournalism.

In the foreword to Paul Nicklen’s book “Born to Ice”, actor and environmental activist, Leonardo DiCaprio wrote:

“To witness the Arctic and Antarctica through Paul Nicklen’s lens is to experience hope in action. “Born to Ice” showcases the life’s work of an artist whose love for the landscape and each animal in it is so palpable that emotion echoes throughout every image. As a collection, the images build in scope and power, leaving you profoundly affected and deepening your sense of commitment to protect these stunning parts of our planet.” – Leonardo DiCaprio, June 2018

Paul Nicklen, Ice Waterfall, 2014, archival pigment print. Courtesy of the artist and Hilton | Asmus Contemporary.

In addition, Pearl Jam’s recently released album “Gigaton” features Nicklen’s photograph Ice Waterfall on the cover. Pearl Jam management’s Scott Greer, who oversaw the album’s marketing roll-out told Variety Magazine, “The band wanted to scale something globally and create a unique fan experience so that wherever they were in the world, they were all discovering it in the same way at the same time. Everyone interacted with it differently. Some people were walking in front of the animation, and then we saw one little girl tapping on the moving waterfall. That engagement and interaction made it more than just a Pearl Jam album cover — it made it universal.”

About Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier

Mexico City-born Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier, who dedicates her photography towards the conservation movement, is an adventurer, conservationist, writer, photographer and marine biologist who for the past 25 years has been globally recognized as one of the most influential wildlife writers and conservationists.

Mittermeier, a Rolex Brand Ambassador, has received accolades of the highest esteem, including the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award, and was named one of National Geographic’s 2018 Adventurers of the Year.

As a ‘National Geographic Woman of Impact’, Mittermeier has worked in more than 100 countries on every continent in the world, reaching an estimated 2.5 billion people and sparking global conversations about climate change.

Christina Mittermeier, Bubblegum, archival pigment print. Courtesy of the artist and Hilton | Asmus Contemporary

In 2015, she co-founded the conservation group Sea Legacy, a non-profit dedicated to protecting the ocean with her partner, Paul Nicklen. Recognized as one of the World’s Top 40 Most Influential Outdoor Photographers by Outdoor Magazine, Mittermeier’s work has been published in hundreds of respected publications, including National Geographic Magazine and TIME. In 2020, she was honored on the She’s Mercedes platform, where she led “Let’s Be Friends”, a mentoring session with five women from around the world to discuss their dreams, shared challenges, and self-worth.

As a biochemical engineer specializing in marine resources and as a regular contributor to the scientific dialogue on the conservation of our planet’s biodiversity, Mittermeier’s work strives to use science to explain the importance of preserving earth’s ecosystem. She is the founder of the International League of Conservation Photographers.

“The whole premise of Sea Legacy is that we’re experts at visual communication, and we’re going to be partnering with like-minded organizations that have the same mission that we do, to save the oceans.” says Mittermeier, “The ocean is the largest ecosystem on our planet, and three billion people depend on coastal and marine resources.”

Global advocate of Hilton | Asmus Contemporary founder Arica Hilton says, “We have decided to make 2021 our year of conservation. By this, I mean every single sale we make in our gallery this year will benefit a variety of conservation organizations, including organizations that support animals, oceans and other natural resources, in addition to our ongoing support of women’s and children’s causes. Through the arts, Hilton | Asmus Contemporary is dedicated to making every single step and every breath we take, have a purpose. A global purpose. A higher purpose. We will be working with artists who search for solutions addressing the plight of our environment and the human condition.”