American, born 1971
Brian Ulrich‘s large-scale photographs examine the excesses and peculiarities of American consumer culture. Begun in 2001 in response to the U.S government’s call to citizens to bolster the economy through shopping, the ongoing Copia series offers a penetrating look at life in commercial settings. The images locate private moments in busy public environments that are essentially enclosed virtual worlds, such as shopping malls, big-box retailers, and thrift stores. Finding a mix of banality and humanity in the interactions within these spaces, the images invite the viewer to scrutinize and assess familiar rituals of consumption.
Brian Ulrich’s photographs reside in major museum collections such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Milwaukee Museum of Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Photography. Ulrich has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Cleveland Museum of Art; the North Carolina Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; the Haggerty Museum of Art; and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art. His work has also been included in numerous group exhibitions such as the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Photography; the Walker Art Center; the San Diego Museum of Art; the Krannert Art Museum; the New York Public Library; Galerie f5.6 in Munich; and the Carnegie Museum; among others.
Brian Ulrich was a 2009 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship recipient. The Aperture Foundation and the Cleveland Museum of Art collaborated to publish his first major monograph, “Is This Place Great or What”, Aperture 2011, which was later included in “The Photobook: A History Volume 3”, Phaidon 2014. Aperture also published his work as part of the MP3: Midwest Photographers Project in 2006.
Brian Ulrich is currently an Assistant Professor of Photography at the Rhode Island School of Design.