Brian Ulrich was born 1971 in Northport, NY. His photographs portraying contemporary consumer culture 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, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography.
Ulrich earned his MFA in photography at Columbia College Chicago and a BFA in photography at the University of Akron. An internship at the Akron Art Museum further fueled Brian’s research and knowledge of the history of the medium. He later spent considerable time working at the Howard Greenberg Gallery in NY and then the Cleveland Museum of Art, often staying after hours to sift through the vast libraries, collections and archives of photography. It is this understanding of the history of the medium that informs much of his work which today addresses issues social, political and historical.
Since finishing his graduate studies in 2004, Ulrich has had solo exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; the Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago; the Julie Saul Gallery; and the Robert Koch Gallery. His work has also been included in many group exhibitions such as the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Photography; Galerie f5.6 in Munich; the Krannert Art Museum; the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Walker Art Center; and the Carnegie Museum; among others.
Copia was published in 2006 by Aperture as part of the MP3: Midwest Photographers Project. In 2007 Ulrich was named one of the years 30 Emerging Photographers by Photo District News magazine, and a critic’s pick by Richard Woodward for ARTnews magazine. In 2009 he was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. In 2011 Aperture in conjunction with the Cleveland Museum of Art published his first monograph, ‘Is This Place Great or What’. The Anderson Gallery at Virginia Commonwealth University published the catalog, ‘Close Out: Retail Relics and Ephemera’ in 2013. His work has been featured in the New York Times Magazine; Orion Magazine; Vice Magazine; Mother Jones magazine; the Chicago Tribune; Artforum; Harper’s; Leica World; Yvi Magazine and as a frequent contributor to the like-minded magazine Adbusters. Brian’s work has been featured alongside writings by noted academics, environmentalists and activists such as: Bill McKibben (Mother Jones, 2007), Michael Pollan (NY Times Magazine, 2007), Jeff Madrick (Le Monde, 2008), Kalle Lasn (Adbusters, 2006) and Jeffrey Kaplan (Orion Magazine, 2008).
American photographertakes a long, unsmiling look at how merchandise is presented for sale in Big Box retail outlets and Thrift stores.