Justin Strom
Self/Non-self: Recursive and Volatile

Institute of Contemporary Art, Baltimore
Space Camp
16 West North Ave
Baltimore, MD 21202

Nov 21 to Dec 20, 2015

Opening reception: Saturday, Nov 21, 7-10pm

ICA Baltimore presents Self/Non-Self: Recursive and Volatile, an exhibition of mixed-media works by Baltimore artist Justin D. Strom. Strom’s series Self/Non-Self investigates a deep curiosity of the human body, creating a digital landscape of our unseen inner-spaces by combining elements of the real with those of the imagination. Strom constructs an aesthetic based on the human form as it is simultaneously shaped by, and reflective of, our digital age; an age that attempts to dissolve the distinction between virtual and physical spaces.

Engaging with issues of microbiology, cloning, and genetic sequencing, Strom uses a hybrid of photography, digital printmaking, and 3D composite imagery to build luminous 2D works. Dense abstract forms with no clear boundaries create an alternative interior with scenes of rich color, frozen explosions, and conglomerated forms that act as symbolic reminders of transformation and impermanence in a volatile world. These multi-layered works offer a microbiological investigation of forms in imagined space that revel in the structures and processes of the body by exploring it from the inside.


Strom is is a mixed-media artist, an Associate Professor in Printmaking and Digital Imaging, and the Graduate Director of the Arts Department at the University of Maryland, College Park. Born in Columbia, Missouri, he received his BFA in Painting at Columbia College-Columbia, and his MFA in Studio Art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has worked as an Assistant Printer at Highpoint Editions in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and a Production Assistant at Tandem Press in Madison, Wisconsin. Along the way he’s delivered pizzas, stocked grocery shelves, driven a truck, worked a tarmac, and still tries to get on a skateboard every now and again.


Lu Zhang
topo(log) typo(log)

Institute of Contemporary Art, Baltimore
The George Peabody Library
17 W. Mount Vernon Place
Baltimore, MD 21202

Nov 12 to Dec 19 2015

Images of opening reception in Bmoreart,
Review by Michael Anthony Farley in ArtFCity

Open Hours
Tuesday + Wednesday 9 AM to 5 PM
Thursday 9 AM to 7 PM
Friday 9 AM to 2 PM
Saturday 10 AM to 2 PM

Anyone who wants to come by between now and December 19th can visit the Peabody and view the books from this project. The books live on a cart that you can roll to a table and look through, including a selection of books from the JHU and MICA libraries with background on the library, artists working with archives and more.

Tours available by appointment.
Library closed on Monday and Sunday.

Opening Reception
Thursday, Nov 12, 5 PM - 9 PM

Artist Talk
Saturday Dec 12, 11 AM - 1 PM


ICA Baltimore presents topo(log) typo(log), a series of six books documenting Lu Zhang’s yearlong studio residency at the George Peabody Library. Emulating the Dewey Decimal system of relative location, each book embodies a level of the library: General Reference; Biography; History; Language, Literature, and Translation; Science and Art; Bibliography and Books about Books. Readers are invited to navigate through the pages as they would move through the cast-iron stacks and narrow passageways of the library’s interior.

Employing tasks common to a library of choosing, collecting, sorting, recording, transferring, scanning, and photocopying, Zhang reinterprets the building’s contents to create an associative and accumulative narrative that is specific yet arbitrary, expansive yet fragmentary. Gathering imagery from a wide range of sources including 18th century encyclopedias, architectural protrusions, guided tours, insurance maps, office supplies, renovation remains, and an essay on clouds, Zhang investigates the nature of work, the limitations of collective knowledge, and the poetics of place.

Additionally, the exhibition will include a selection of books curated by the ICA Baltimore from the Peabody's collection in response to Zhang's project, as well as books from the Johns Hopkins Library and the Maryland Institute College of Art—further contextualizing topo(log) typo(log) within library preservation theory and contemporary art movements.

After the duration of the exhibition, the six volumes will be acquired and cataloged by the George Peabody Library, becoming a part of the permanent collection.

Images of individual books above courtesy of Johns Hopkins University.

Lu Zhang - lu-zhang.com
Lu Zhang (1983, Chongqing, China) lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland. In 2013, she received a MFA in Painting from the Frank Mohr Institute in the Netherlands. She received a BFA in General Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Zhang has exhibited in the United States and abroad including shows at C. Grimaldis Gallery in Baltimore, Randall Scott Gallery in Washington DC, The Center for Art and Culture in France, as well as several exhibitions in the Netherlands. Her work has been reviewed in ARTnews, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun and featured in New American Paintings Magazine. Zhang has received a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council for works on paper and been awarded The Trawick Prize Young Artist Award. In 2014, she became an inaugural recipient of a Rubys Artist Project Grant in Literary and Visual Arts.

George Peabody Library
The George Peabody Library, formerly the Library of the Peabody Institute of the City of Baltimore, dates from the founding of the Peabody Institute in 1857. In that year, George Peabody, a Massachusetts-born philanthropist, dedicated the Peabody Institute to the citizens of Baltimore in appreciation of their "kindness and hospitality." The Peabody Library building, which opened in 1878, was designed by Baltimore architect Edmund G. Lind, in collaboration with the first provost, Dr. Nathaniel H. Morison. Renowned for its striking architectural interior, the Peabody Stack Room contains five tiers of ornamental cast-iron balconies. The library collection contains over 300,000 volumes largely from the 18th and 19th centuries. Notable collection strengths are archaeology, British art and architecture, British and American history, biography, English and American literature, Romance languages and literature, Greek and Latin classics, history of science, geography, and exploration and travel including a large map collection. The George Peabody Library is now a part of the Special Collections Department of Johns Hopkins University’s Sheridan Libraries. Maintaining the provisions of Mr. Peabody’s original gift, the George Peabody Library is a non-circulating collection open to the general public.

topo(log) typo(log) is made possible in part by a Rubys Artist Project Grant from the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance.