College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Centers & Institutes > DePaul Humanities Center > Events > Sickness and Solitude > Sickness and Solitude 2

Sickness and Solitude 2


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​​We are excited to continue this series by offering you a free custom retro 3-D viewer and a reel with seven new images by internationally renowned artists.  These images will not be available anywhere else for several months, with the resulting visual adventure being a DHC exclusive. Artists include: 

  • National Book Award finalist and “America's Best Photographer,” Sally Mann;  
  • artist of the diasporic black female experience and “the future of figurative painting,” Wangari Mathenge
  • iconic stop-motion animators, designers, narrative innovators, and all-around visionaries, The Brothers Quay

More information about the artists below!

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Unlike our in-person events, this “event” unfolds according to the audience member’s engagement with the material. Once audience members receive their special envelope or box through the U.S. mail, the rest is completely up to them.

Sally Man at the DHC

Acclaimed photographer Sally Mann was born in Lexington, Virginia, where she still lives and works. Named “America’s Best Photographer” by Time magazine, she often uses vintage equipment and techniques to capture her iconic black and white photographs of the American South, which she has photographed since the 1970s. 

Throughout her influential career, she has engaged with various subjects, including her own family, young children, and landscapes alongside weighty themes such as death, disease, and war. Mann has produced two major series depicting landscapes of the American South, Motherland (1997) and Deep South (2005). She deals with themes of childhood in her early series, At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women (1988), and later in Immediate Family (1992). Proud Flesh (2009), described as “extraordinarily wrenching and touchingly frank portraits of a man at his most vulnerable moment,” is an intimate and candid look at her husband’s struggle with Muscular Dystrophy. In a five-part study of mortality, What Remains (2003), Mann presents striking images of decomposing bodies, ranging from her own greyhound to bodies at the forensic study facility, The Body Farm. 

Mann’s photography has appeared in solo and group exhibitions in the United States and around the world. She is a three-time recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and has received countless other honors and awards. She is also the author of several books, including her bestselling memoir, Hold Still (2015), which was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. A 1994 documentary about her work, Blood Ties, was nominated for an Academy Award, and the feature film, What Remains, was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2008. Her most recent show, Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings (2019), comprises 115 photographs that explore the American South through themes such as desire, death, and family bonds, generating fundamental questions about human existence that reverberate beyond regional and national boundaries.

Wagnari Mathenge in her studio

Born in Nairobi, Kenya, and recently heralded as a painter charting "the future of figurative painting," Wangari Mathenge currently attends the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she is pursuing an MFA in painting and drawing. Reflecting her life experience in Africa and the United States, her work grapples with issues of race and gender, particularly regarding the visibility of the black female in both traditional African patriarchal society and more broadly in the Diaspora. 

The paintings in her ongoing series, The Ascendants, “represent intimate interiors of a fictional diasporan home . . . reflect[ing] the loss and re-fabrication that occurs in instances of dislocation and displacement.” These spaces confront traditional African patriarchy by elevating the stature of women in these spaces, "reconfiguring the domestic space to conform to contemporary ideals of equality while simultaneously refusing the male gaze." The inspiration for her subject matter comes through her own cultural perspective, life, and family, all of which work to celebrate her identity as a black woman and migrant. 

Her works are held in private collections worldwide, including Europe, Africa, and North and South America. Her upcoming exhibitions include group shows in Europe and the United States as well as two solo exhibitions at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery in London, and Roberts Projects in Los Angeles.

Brothers Quay

Visionary artists and identical twin brothers Stephen and Timothy Quay, professionally known as The Brothers Quay, are iconic stop-motion animators, directors, designers, and narrative innovators. In their early career, they studied film (Stephen) and illustration (Timothy) at the Philadelphia College of Art and worked as professional illustrators before turning to film. In 1969 they moved to London to study at the Royal College of Art, where they began producing their stop-motion puppet films. 

The Quays’ ethereal and uncanny films are staged on fantastical miniature sets populated by puppets in their unique style, constructed from doll parts. Focusing on the marginal and mysterious, their films typically have no spoken dialogue, and instead engage with a labyrinthian narrative structure that relies heavily on musical scores and which draws inspiration from a broad array of literary sources, from Eastern European poetry and writing to South American magical realism. 

The Brothers Quay are recognized as the most accomplished animation artists to have emerged in recent decades. Best known for their filmmaking, they have also brought their unique vision to stage design for opera, ballet, and theatre, and provided animation for the new Gucci Bloom campaign. Their work has received widespread recognition and countless awards. Their best-known work, Street of Crocodiles (1986) was selected by director Terry Gilliam as one of the ten best-animated films of all time and was included on Jonathan Romney’s list of the ten best films in any medium. They also received the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design for their work on the play, The Chairs (1998). Their work has influenced a generation of filmmakers, including director Christopher Nolan, who in 2015 directed the documentary Quay and curated a theatrical tour featuring their work.