EXPO CHICAGO 2016: /Dialogues

Aug 29, 2016 7:21PM

Presented in partnership with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), /Dialogues offers panel discussions, conversations and provocative artistic discourse with leading artists, curators, designers and arts professionals on the current issues that engage them.


11:30am | The New Global Economy: Contemporary Art from Africa and its Diaspora in the Marketplace

Featuring Collector Kenneth Montague, Artist Mary Sibande, and Logan Center Exhibitions Curator Yesomi Umolu. Moderated by Bomi Odufunade.

This panel will survey how contemporary art practice in Africa has been enacted through globalization. Moderated by Bomi Odufunade, the speakers will identify the opportunities and challenges of artists working within the world’s fastest growing continent.  How has this rapid growth impacted artists in the marketplace today?  This question will be considered through the voices of institutional and independent curators, a collector, and an artist. 

Yesomi Umolu, Image: Trumpie Photography

1:00–2:00pm | Documenta 14: Looking South

Featuring Artists Irena Haiduk, Claire Pentecost and Angelo Plessas. Moderated by Dieter Roelstraete, Curator | Documenta 14.

A roundtable devoted to Documenta, the quinquennial exhibition of contemporary art held in Kassel since 1955; Roelstraete will moderate a conversation between participants from past Documenta editions and artists taking part in the upcoming 14th iteration, which will take place simultaneously in Athens, Greece, and Kassel, Germany. Discussing the exhibition’s temporary relocation to the crisis-stricken Greek capital in particular, this panel will focus on large-scale exhibition making and globalized art practice in relation to intensifying socio-economic instability and uncertainty. Presented in partnership with Goethe Institut Chicago. 

2:30–3:00pm | A History of Performance in 20 Minutes

Featuring Guillaume Désanges, Curator and Art Critic with Frédéric Cherboeuf, Performer.

Led by Désanges, along with Cherboeuf, the two explore the history of performance art through gesture and movement, creating a living exhibition separate from objects and traditional historical discourse. The presentation has previously been exhibited at the Centre Pompidou (Paris), De Appel (Amsterdam) Artists Space (New York), Centre d’Art Santa Monica (Barcelona) and U-TURN (Copenhagen), among other major institutions. 

3:30 pm | Conceptual Paradise: ART & LANGUAGE

Featuring Director of the film Conceptual Paradise Stefan Römer, Collector and Founder of The Philippe Méaille Collection - Château de Montsoreau Philippe Méaille, Independent CuratorGuillaume Désanges and International Curator of The Philippe Méaille Collection - Château de Montsoreau Jill Silverman van Coenegrachts.

Established in the late 1960s, ART & LANGUAGE has been a shifting collaborator practice that many feel launched Conceptual Art. Stemming from the title of Director Stefan Römer’s documentary, Conceptual Paradise*, which examines the debates that allowed the intellectual movement of Conceptual Art to emerge, this panel discussion invites a selection of individuals, including Römer, who have a singular and extensive knowledge of ART & LANGUAGE’s legacy.

*A screening of Conceptual Paradise will take place during EXPO ART WEEK at the Gene Siskel Film Center on Wednesday, September 21 at 8:00pm. Presented in partnership with the Goethe Institut Chicago. Ticketed event.

ART & LANGUAGE’s Mel Ramsden and Michael Baldwin; Image: EXPO CHICAGO

4:30pm | Keynote: ART & LANGUAGE

Featuring ART & LANGUAGE’s Mel Ramsden and Michael Baldwin in conversation with Independent Curator Guillaume Désanges and International Curator of The Philippe Méaille Collection - Château de Montsoreau Jill Silverman van Coenegrachts.

This discussion will examine ART & LANGUAGE’s role in the definition of Conceptual Art, and the creation of a new and ongoing radical paradigm in art and history. The panel will also address how the movement shaped itself while demystifying the heroic figure of the individual artist, and how its foundations are rooted in contemporary epistemological and philosophical issues that first emerged in the 1960s.

ART & LANGUAGE, Painting 1, No. 8, 1966, Verso of certificate, Silver Gelatin Print, Image courtesy of Art & Language

5:30pm | ART & LANGUAGE: Conceptualism and Rock & Roll

Featuring ART & LANGUAGE’s Mel Ramsden and Michael Baldwin. Moderated by Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art at the RISD Museum Dominic Molon.

Examining the relationship between Conceptual Art and rock and roll music, this panel delves into the collaboration between ART & LANGUAGE and the experimental rock band Red Krayola which began with Mayo Thompson in 1967. Moderated by Dominic Molon, whose exhibition Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967 took place at the MCA in 2007, the discussion will focus on the improbable yet historically fruitful relationship between a music genre associated with intensity and excess and an approach within the contemporary visual arts defined by rigorously reductive and administrative aesthetic. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

11:30am–12:30pm | EXPO VIDEO | Ghost in the Screen

Daria de Beauvais, 2016 EXPO VIDEO Curator | Palais de Tokyo and Stephanie Cristello, Director of Programming | EXPO CHICAGO and Editor-in-Chief of THE SEEN

Curated in two distinct sections, the 2016 EXPO VIDEO program traces darker thematics in contemporary film, video, and new media work. Located on the west end of Festival Hall, the pieces included in The Yellow Wallpaper and Daedalus are imbued with mystery, archetypal images of the underworld, and psychological references to the unknown. This panel will trace the more haunted potentials of film from the last two decades, showing the evolution of video art and the experimentation of many techniques—from scratched film to 16mm to digital technologies. This interview will examine de Beauvais’ motivations for the concurrent programs, discuss the artists’ works on view, and how EXPO VIDEO relates to her current curatorial practice in recent exhibitions. EXPO VIDEO will be on view at the west end of Festival Halls A & B.

1:00–2:00pm | Hans Ulrich Obrist | In Conversation with Joseph Grigely

Join internationally renowned curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-director of Exhibitions and Programmes, Director of International Projects | Serpentine Galleries, in conversation with Chicago-based artist and academic Joseph Grigely on the legacy and importance of his work.Presented in partnership with Cultured Magazine.

2:30 pm | MCA Presents: Kerry James Marshall In Conversation with Sarah Thornton

Featuring author and cultural sociologist Sarah Thornton and artist Kerry James Marshall. More panelists forthcoming. 

Renowned author and cultural sociologist, Sarah Thornton, will interview Chicago-based artist Kerry James Marshall to align with the closing of his retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (April 23 – September 25, 2016). Considered one of America’s greatest living painters, Marshall explores African American identity in American history and Western art historical movements—from the Renaissance through twentieth century abstraction—in his signature large-scale interiors, landscapes and portraits.  Kerry James Marshall: Mastry, a survey of his paintings from the last 35 years, will soon travel to The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.  Presented in partnership with the MCA.

Artist Kerry James Marshall, Image: Kendall Karmanian 

4:00–5:00pm | Picturing Punk: The Legacy of Mark Morrisroe

Featuring Beatrix RufDirector of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and Jack Pierson, Artist. Moderated by Linda Yablonsky, Artforum

This panel will focus on the work of artist Mark Morrisroe (1959–1989), providing an insight into the radical and innovative output of his short career. Known for his performances and photographic work, Morrisroe was germane to the development of the punk scene in Boston in the 1970s, and mid–late 1980s in New York City. This discussion will expand on first comprehensive monograph on the artist’s work published in 2011, edited by Ruf with contributions by Yablonsky, alongside Jack Pierson, an artist from the group of photographers known as the Boston School. 

Beatrix Ruf, Image: Robin de Puy

5:30–6:30pm | Aperture Live: On the Direct Gaze

Featuring Deana Lawson, Artist, and Franklin Sirmans, Director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami. Moderated by Brendan Wattenberg, Managing Editor of Aperture Magazine

Join photographer Deana Lawson for a conversation about style, beauty, and African American identity in photography in conversation with Franklin Sirmans, moderated by Brendan Wattenberg, Managing Editor of Aperture Magazine. For Lawson, a Guggenheim Fellow and featured artist in MoMA's New Photography exhibition in 2011 and recent solo exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, an intense curiosity about cultural dynamics sets the tone for striking, large-format images taken in the US, the Caribbean, and Africa. Presented in partnership with the Aperture Foundation

Sunday, September 25, 2016

11:30am–12:30pm | Publication as Exhibition 

Featuring Stefano Cernuschi | Mousse Publishing; Jens Hoffmann | The Exhibitionist; Helena Vilalta | Afterall; and Forrest Nash | Contemporary Art Daily. Moderated by Cay-Sophie Rabinowitz | Founding Director and Publisher of OSMOS

This panel will examine how publishing models have influenced the production of exhibitions, and vice versa, since the 1960s. Featuring voices from different platforms—from art book publishing and editorial focuses on curating, to online formats and publication-owned project spaces—this discussion will trace how each of these sites for contemporary art has shifted in recent years. Presented in partnership with the Italian Cultural Institute.

Jens Hoffman, Image: Robert Adler

1:00–2:00pm | Pablo León de la Barra | In Conversation

Pablo León de la Barra is an independent curator based in London and New York. As a curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum for the Latin American phase of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, as well part of the curatorial team for SITElines.2016, the biennial whose 2016 program is devoted to New Perspectives on Art of the Americas, León de la Barra will discuss his current projects and cultural work.

2:30–3:30pm | Curating in Place

Featuring Dan Handel, Curator of Design and Architecture Israel Museum; Aric Chen, Lead Curator for Design and Architecture | M+, Hong Kong, Zoë Ryan, Chair and John H. Bryan Curator of Architecture and Design | Art Institute of Chicago; and James Zemaitis, Curator and Director of Museum Relations | R & Company. Moderated by Jonathan Solomon, Director of the Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture and Designed Objects | The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

This panel will consider contemporary approaches to the collection and exhibition of architecture and design. Considering both how design is influenced by the places in which it is conceived, fabricated and used; and the local and global influences on design exhibition, this discussion will trace current practices of curating in the field today. Presented in partnership with the William Bronson and Grayce Slovet and Mitchell Lecture Series in Architecture, Interior Architecture and Designed Objects at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago and support from the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest.

Aric Chen, 2016; Image: EXPO CHICAGO

EXPO Projects

EXPO Projects is presented alongside IN/SITU in and around Navy Pier, featuring a curated selection of projects organized by EXPO CHICAGO. The site-specific installation program highlights large-scale and performative works by emerging and established artists represented by 2016 Exhibitors.

Magdalena Abakanowicz
The Son of Gigant, 2003
Bronze, unique
Courtesy of Marlborough | New York, London, Madrid, Barcelona (Booth 239)

Magdalena Abakanowicz emerged as an artist in a Poland devastated by World War II. The politically charged but emotional work reminds us of the nature of the human condition, its inherent impermanence rendered immutable. Her recent solo exhibitions include the Palacio de Cristal, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid and the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM), Valencia, both in 2008.

Kimathi Donkor
Courtesy of Gallery MOMO | Cape Town, Johannesburg (Booth 731)

Kimathi Donkor is a British contemporary artist who lives and works in London, UK. His work re-imagines mythic and legendary encounters across Africa and its Diasporas, principally in painting, but also through video, drawing, assemblage and installation. Donkor’s expansive tableaux depict historic figures, such as Toussaint L'Ouverture and Harriet Tubman, as well as on more contemporary or unfamiliar themes.

Cody Hudson
Hold It Up to the Light, 2016
Courtesy of ANDREW RAFACZ | Chicago (Booth 645)

Cody Hudson presents a new site-specific installation of wall painting and sculpture. Extending his uniquely abstracted forms sourced from the natural world and the human figure, recently developed in his solo exhibition Dreams Burn Down at ANDREW RAFACZ, Hudson presents his large scale ideas exclusively for the EXPO CHICAGO audience.

Alfredo Jaar
Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness, 1995
Courtesy of Human Rights Watch (Booth 117)

Human Rights Watch (HRW), a leading international human rights organization dedicated to defending and promoting human rights around the world, in partnership with Rhona Hoffman Gallery, presents Chilean-born artist, architect, filmmaker and activist Alfredo Jaar’s “Teach Us to Outgrow Madness.” Created specifically for EXPO CHICAGO, and inspired by the writing of Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oe, Jaar’s piece highlights the responsibility of each generation to learn from those who came before. At once urgent and optimistic, the piece reflects the organization’s mission to protect human dignity wherever it is threatened.

Samuel Levi Jones
48 Portraits (Underexposed), 2012
Inkjet prints on recycled Encyclopedia Britannica paper
Courtesy of PATRON | Chicago

This series of portraits respond to the related issues of representation and exclusion raised by a Gerhard Richter installation from 1972—the same year the encyclopedia set was published. Richter's 48 portraits, made for the German pavilion at the Venice Biennale, depicted icons of Western culture from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, each a white male. Here, Jones includes images of 48 African-American cultural figures who did not appear in the 1972 edition of the encyclopedia: Bessie Smith, Gwendolyn Brooks, Marian Anderson, Nina Simone, Duke Ellington, James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, and George Washington Carver among them. The enlarged close-ups of their faces, printed on sheets of paper, barely emerge from the rich, charcoal gray ground.

Anna Kunz
Warp, 2016
Latex on fabric
Courtesy of McCormick Gallery | Chicago (Booth 241)

Anna Kunz is a Chicago-based painter that makes work that explores the intersection of the formal aspects of the media she uses, and the qualities of the surrounding space. Often, painted and dyed fabrics function like nets to capture and manipulate light and color. These experiential works are often combined with objects or surfaces that invite viewers to interact with the works in space. Her large scale painting process intertwines performance, installation, sculpture, and architecture.

Atelier van Lieshout
Mother Earth Constructivist, 2015
Arcylic, resin, wood

The Beginning of Everything, 2016
Foam, paint, wood, Paverpol

Henri, 2015

Carl, 2015

Courtesy of GRIMM | Amsterdam (Booth 324)

Combining Surrealist and Minimalist forms in his sculpture, van Lieshout examines the boundary between art, architecture, and human constructions. This selection belongs to the CryptoFuturism series, which revisits the tenets of Italian Futuristism a century later to highlight resonances between
emerging Fascist tendencies today. These four works, from the origin of matter, material, and form that inspired The Beginning of Everything, which represents the molecular makeup of Glucose (C6H1206), to Henri and Carl—cubist, functional sculptures in a style the artist refers to as “nouveau brutalism”—van Lieshout couples the pursuit of progress with a longing for the primitive past. This contrast between primitivism and constructivism is a thematic shared with Mother Earth Constructivist, whose form marks a return to the origins of sculpture, from primitive totems and fertility statues—placed on an abstract, geometrical pedestal, the work is reminiscent of Modernist sculpture from the early twentieth century—an era of great Utopian movements, not unlike our own. Presented with support from the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York.

Atelier van Lieshout, Henri, 2015. Fiberglass. Courtesy of GRIMM | Amsterdam 

Dana Lixenberg
Imperial Courts, 2015
Three channel video, color, with sound, 69-minute loop
Courtesy of GRIMM | Amsterdam (Booth 324)

Dana Lixenberg’s Imperial Courts project tracks the changing shape of a small, inner-city community from South Central Los Angeles through a combination of video, and an extensive series of black and white photographs. The photographs and video result from Lixenberg’s extended and collaborative relationship with the residents of Imperial Courts, a place she became familiar with after travelling to Los Angeles in the wake of the Rodney King riots in April 1992. The potent combination of racial injustice, community frustration, and one dimensional media coverage pushed her to start a project documenting life inside a single housing project in Watts, named Imperial Courts.  Lixenberg gradually created an expansive portrait of this community over twenty-two years, electing to face away from the spectacle of destruction, and to look toward those whose lives typically receive public notice only in the event of calamity. Lixenberg’s video immerses us in the dense fabric of daily life in this small housing project through an interlinking chain of vignettes accompanied by an environmental score of street sounds, conversations, ice cream trucks and the penetrating sound of LAPD helicopters flying overhead. The work frames the continuity of community against the changelessness of an inner-city landscape, rejecting sensationalism and spectacle in favour of sensitivity. Presented with support from the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York.

Dana Lixenberg, Imperial Courts, 2015. Courtesy of GRIMM | Amsterdam

Matt Magee
Wall Grapheme 3, 2016
Acrylic and china marker
Courtesy of THE MISSION | Chicago (Booth 645)

Wall Grapheme 3 continues a series of site specific wall paintings Magee began at Tamarind Institute in Albuquerque in May 2016. A grapheme is the smallest semantically distinguishing unit in written language—building on this idea, Magee creates his own encoded and sequenced vocabulary suspended within a grid relating to Agnes Martin's 'On a clear day' screenprint edition from 1973.

Sandro Miller
American Bikers, 1990–95
Courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery | Chicago (Booth 247)

The spring of 1990, artist Sandro Miller attended a biker rally sponsored by a local Harley-Davidson dealership in his hometown of Elgin, Illinois. This rally was organized to raise money for a local residential facility which also provided medically oriented services to children and young adults with severe disabilities. During the next five years, Miller attended biker rallies across America, and photographed bikers from around the country—this series illuminates a group of people who have so often been categorized and demeaned by the American public.

Nnenna Okore
Onwa N'etilu Ora, 2013–2015
Twisted and painted paper
Courtesy of Jenkins Johnson Gallery | San Francisco, New York (Booth 706)

Nnenna Okore’s sculptures address the regeneration of forms, and use natural materials, twisted into structures that mimick the intricacies of objects and nature familiar to the artist from her childhood in
Nigeria. A Fulbright Fellow in 2012, Okore studied under El Anatsui—her works are created from natural materials, such as found paper, clay, and coffee. Onwa N’etilu Ora references rebirth and renewal, each disk representing the roundness and vibrancy of the ‘onwa,’ the term for ‘moon’ in Igbo.

Image: Nnenna Okore, Onwa N'etilu Ora (2013–2015) | Jenkins Johnson Gallery

Sabina Ott
because the mountains were so high, 2016
Courtesy of Hyde Park Art Center (Booth 813) & Aspect/Ratio Gallery | Chicago 

Sabina Ott’s site-specific installation for EXPO CHICAGO acts as an alternative passage way within
a passageway—a space to meander through and lose oneself in wonderment. Smells, sounds, objects
and video surround the participant in an immersive artificial environment. The work is an extension of Ott’s exhibition at the Hyde Park Art Center earlier this year. Produced by Space Haus.

Image: Sabina Ott, who cares for the sky, 2016, installation view Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago

Ren Ri
Yuansu Series II, #6-58, #6-71, #6-74, #6-81, #6-83, 2014-2015
Acrylic box, natural beeswax
Courtesy of Pearl Lam Galleries | Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore (Booth 442)

Ren Ri’s work is signified by the very special medium he uses: beeswax. Considered an unusual and difficult material to work with, Ri’s understanding of bees’ psychology and nature assist him in his creative process. He works in collaboration with insects to create his mesmerizing sculptures. To manipulate natural processes, the artist must find a balance cooperating with nature to accomplish his artistic goals. Ri was born in 1984 in Harbin, China, and studied Fine Art at Tsinghua University before receiving his Masters at Saint-Petersburg Herzen State University, Russia. He has a PhD in Fine Art from Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing.

Adam Parker Smith
Mr. Risky, 2016
Cast resin and fiberglass with mylar steel, aluminum
Courtesy of the artist and The Hole | New York (Booth 720)

Consisting of a humanoid stack of resinated mylar balloons—weightless in appearance, but quite solid— the sculpture’s illusion of buoyancy mimics the dynamism of classical sculpture that somehow makes marble look like striving human bodies, and perhaps deflates that idea. While the artist is inspired by classical works like Augustus of Primaporta, the Artemision Bronze, the Venus de Milo or Winged Victory, to contemporary eyes the works evoke perhaps a sagging Koons balloon sculpture, or a birthday array the morning after.

Saya Woolfalk

Colour Mixing Machine 1-6, 2016
Courtesy of Daata Editions

Saya Woolfalk is a New York based artist who uses science fiction and fantasy to re-imagine the world in multiple dimensions. With the multi-year projects No Place, The Empathics, and ChimaTEK, Woolfalk has created the world of the “Empathics,” a fictional race of women who are able to alter their genetic make-up and fuse with plants. With each body of work, Woolfalk builds the narrative of these women's lives, questioning the utopian possibilities of cultural hybridity.  Sound attribution to: The Hathaway Family Plot.