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Renaissance Society in Chicago Mounts Photography of Anna Shteynshleyger '99

Solo exhibition on display Jan. 3-Feb. 14

Posted 01.06.10 by MICA Media Relations

It’s ironic that the word 'spirituality' is largely taboo in the art world. 

Anna Shteynshleyger '99, Portrait With Mordechai

CHICAGO--The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago (5811 S. Ellis Ave.) mounts a solo exhibition of photographs by Chicago-based artist Anna Shteynshleyger '99 (photography). The self-titled exhibition will be on display through Feb. 14.

The exhibition features approximately 20 works that document Shteynshleyger's life over the past several years. Originally from Moscow, Shteynshleyger moved with her family to the Maryland suburbs and soon became an observant Orthodox Jew at age 16. This transformation, and subsequent years questioning her identity, led Shteynshleyger to use her artwork as a way to find herself. "It's ironic that the word 'spirituality' is largely taboo in the art world," she said. The New York Times ran an extensive article about her journey on Jan. 21.

"After several years of spiritual and emotional turbulence, Shteynshleyger needed to craft a mirror in order to psychologically ground herself. Her photographs represent people, places, things and moments that are her life, making the practice an exercise in the 'othering' of self," the Renaissance Society says of the artist.

"Shteynshleyger belongs to a generation of photographers whose work is notable for its formal beauty and technical execution," the society says. Shteynshleyger's work spans a variety of genres--portraits, still-life, landscape and interiors--all of which will be included in the exhibition.

Image caption: Anna Shteynshleyger '99, Portrait With Mordechai, pigment print, 2004-2009.

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 49 states and 52 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. With art and design programs ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.