from the series  Personal Grooming , 2003

from the series Personal Grooming, 2003

Alan Labb is a lens-based visual artist currently working in Chicago. Labb received his BFA (Cum Laude) in photography from the University of New Mexico in 1988 and an MFA in photography from the University of Illinois at Urbana, where he received a University Fellowship from 1988-1990. While earlier work focuses on the dynamics between autobiography, body image, and gender, his recent work explores historical contextualization through site-specific projects and installations.

Labb’s work has been exhibited at Avu Academy of Fine Arts (Prague), SF Camerawork (San Francisco) Schneider Gallery (Chicago), Contemporary Art Gallery (Storrs), Temple Art Gallery (Philadelphia), and Bridge Center of Contemporary Art (El Paso). Recent exhibitions include Empty Spaces: Abandoned Places (Minneapolis), Faculty Projects (Chicago), Dust of the World, Washed by Droplets of Dew (Higashikawaga, Japan), Seeing Through the Garden (Higashikawaga, Japan), For the Love of Barbara (Brooklyn) and Kizuna 7: Past the Devastation and Towards the Future (various locations throughout Chicago), a traveling exhibition sponsored by the Sister City Exchange between Osaka and Chicago.

His work has been featured in numerous publications including SF Camerawork Quarterly, Luna Cornea Quarterly, AfterImage, Hyphen Magazine, Chicago Reader, and the Albuquerque Journal, and is in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Joan Flasch Artist Book Collection, and the University of New Mexico Art Museum. Labb has been an artist in residence at Catwalk Artist Residency (Catskills) and Kunsthalle Krems (Krems an der Donau, Austria). Over the past 18 years, Alan has had numerous Roger Brown residencies in New Buffalo, MI, and most recently in January 2019.

Labb is currently an Associate Professor in photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and has recently served as a Distinguished Professor at the Tokyo University of the Arts (TUA). Prior to these appointments, he was the head of technology and the Associate Provost of Educational Technology and Innovation at SAIC. He has served on numerous educational advisory boards including Adobe, Apple, and, and worked as a consultant for various national and international educational institutions including Ontario College of Art and Design (Toronto), Hexagram Institute Research Centers (Montreal), Glasgow School of Art (Glasgow), and the Chinese Academy of Fine Arts (Beijing). He is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship (2000) and was named an Apple Distinguished Educator in Higher Education (2005).