SOLD OUT: Gregory Halpern: Omaha Sketchbook on the 2nd Floor

Tuesday September 24: 7:30PM 8:30PM

This event is sold out.

Doors open 30 minutes before the start of the event.

"Throughout his career, Gregory Halpern has explored the elusive, inchoate notion of Americanness. It is both a difficult subject and a lofty prospect for any photographer and it remains an absolutely essential line of investigation, particularly in the context of the current political maelstrom. Traveling to the nation’s heartland—a vague construct increasingly synonymous with the Bible belt—Halpern continues to mine this idea of Americanness in a place bounded by prairie and steeped in pioneer history. His work in the midwestern city of Omaha reveals America as pluralized, fragmented, and teeming with its own 'brand of hypermasculinity’, as he terms it: adolescents on the cusp of promise or obscurity, land that seemingly leads to nowhere, a sense of unending time and a dark side to domesticity. Halpern’s efforts to visualize America yield an opportunity to learn about the country by staring back at images of it that breed their own complexity.” – Amanda Maddox, J. Paul Getty Museum

For the last fifteen years, Gregory Halpern has been photographing in Omaha, Nebraska, steadily compiling a lyrical, if equivocal, response to the American Heartland. In loosely-collaged spreads that reproduce his construction-paper sketchbooks, Halpern takes pleasure in cognitive dissonance and unexpected harmonies, playing on a sense of simultaneous repulsion and attraction to the place. Omaha Sketchbook is ultimately a meditation on America, on the men and boys who inhabit it, and on the mechanics of aggression, inadequacy, and power. Omaha Sketchbook is published by MACK.

Join us in the 2nd Floor Art Department as Gregory Halpern discusses Omaha Sketchbook with fellow photographer Jason Fulford!


Gregory Halpern was born in 1977 in Buffalo, New York. He has published a number of books, including A (2011), Omaha Sketchbook (2009), East of the Sun, West of the Moon (2014), a collaboration with Ahndraya Parlato, ZZYZX (2016), and Confederate Moons (2018). He also edited, with Jason Fulford, The Photographer’s Playbook: Over 250 Assignments and Ideas (2014). He holds a BA in History and Literature from Harvard University and an MFA from California College of the Arts. In 2014 he was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. 



Jason Fulford has adopted the photobook format as a primary mode of expression in which his photographs build a layered articulation through sequence and arrangement. Many of the questions posed by the work are intentionally left unanswered, and are sometimes unanswerable. The work is about the experience of looking and thinking, inviting viewers and readers to be active participants. His 2008 title, Raising Frogs for $$$ foregrounds a concern with context and the ways that meaning can be shifted and teased from images through editing and sequencing. The Mushroom Collector (2010) continues this exploration, granting chance and intuition major roles. His other monographs include Sunbird (2000), Crushed (2003), Hotel Oracle (2013), Contains: 3 Books (2016), Clayton's Ascent (2018) and The Medium is a Mess (2018). He is a Guggenheim fellow; a cofounder of J&L Books; coeditor, with Gregory Halpern, of The Photographer’s Playbook (2014); coauthor with Tamara Shopsin of a photobook for children, This Equals That (2014); and guest editor of Der Greif Issue 11.

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