Looking for the American Dream: Andrew Borowiec’s Ohio Photographs

Judith Bear Isroff & Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Galleries
February 20, 2010 - May 30, 2010

Andrew Borowiec has been photographing the social landscape of Middle America for more than two decades. This exhibition contrasts his traditional gelatin silver photography with his recent exploration of color photography and digital printing. One gallery will feature around 25 prints, most of them from his series Along the Ohio. It was shot during the 1980s and 1990s but has never been exhibited in Northeast Ohio. These modestly scaled, black and white prints show everyday life in the small, mostly blue-collar, historic towns along the Ohio River. Borowiec has described these landscapes as “both exotic and authentically American.” The other gallery will debut around 12 large-scale images from Borowiec’s newest series, The New Heartland. It explores suburban and rural development in the Midwest including, among other phenomena, “lifestyle centers”—newly minted commercial developments adjoining shopping with housing. These planned communities often apply a veneer of historic style to buildings and urban plans that are thoroughly contemporary. Borowiec has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council and his work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Princeton University Art Museum, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Akron Art Museum and Cleveland Museum of Art, among others. Borowiec was just named a Distinguished Professor of Art at The University of Akron Myers School of Art, where he has taught since 1984. This exhibition is organized by the Akron Art Museum and supported by the museum’s Evelyne Shaffer Endowment for Exhibitions.