Dandies, Debutantes and Dancers: Southside Chicago Nightclubs in the 1970s

Opening: Friday, Feb 1, 2019 6 – 9 pm
Friday, Jan 4 – Feb 23, 2019

300 W. Superior
2nd Fl.
Chicago, IL 60654

Michael Abramson (1948-2011) was an acclaimed Chicago photographer who produced a large body of artistic and commercial work. He established his reputation during the mid- to late-seventies with his intimate portraits of nightlife on Chicago's South Side. Many of these stunning black & white images were published, along with two LPs of the music playing at these clubs, in a multimedia package entitled Light on the South Side (2009), released by Chicago music recording company Numero Group. Abramson's South Side portfolio is often compared to the great French photographer Brassai, who captured scenes of Parisian nightclubs during the late 1920s-1930s. A second book, Gotta Go, Gotta Flow, was released by City Files Press and features additional photographs from Abramson South Side portfolio.

During the late seventies, Abramson also photographed patrons at various ballrooms throughout Chicago and at the Festival Theater, a strip club in Chicago where photographers were occasionally invited to take pictures of the performers both backstage and during the show. Michael's portfolio is focused on the other photographers taking the shots. All of these B/W images similarly reflect a time and place where people went during the mid to late seventies in Chicago.

Michael’s photographs have been exhibited in numerous shows, most recently at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and a special exhibit featuring the works of graduates from the Masters of Science program in photography from IIT’s famed School of Design.

Abramson further enjoyed a highly successful career as a freelance photographer for national newsmagazines, such as Time, Newsweek, Business Week, and many others.