2018 Special Exhibitions

Amanda Williams, Justice Hotel Charrete, 2018. 

6018North and 3Arts presented Sanctuary – a social justice space designed by Amanda Williams and activated by 3Arts Make A Wave artists Carris Adams, Maya Camille Broussard, Mashaun Ali Hendricks, Nikki Patin, Amina Ross, and Rhonda Wheatley. The artists provided healing services, justice consultation, and above all, sanctuary. Sanctuary unveils a prototype of Justice Hotel – supported by a Joyce Foundation ideation grant – as a think tank for embodying the ideas and actions that support social justice and self-care. 

Ethan James GreenGogo and Ser, 2015 Digital C-print Edition of 10 Signed and numbered by the artist

Aperture presented a special series of limited-edition prints featured in the latest issues of the award-winning Aperture magazine, including Aperture 229: “Future Gender,” Aperture 231: “Film & Foto,” and the newly released Aperture 232: “Los Angeles.” Artists include Ethan James Green, Alex Prager, RaMell Ross, and more. New limited editions related to recently released Aperture titles are also on view, including a series of prints by Naoya Hatakeyama, a limited-edition book by Deana Lawson, and a limited-edition stereograph by Stephen Shore

Artadia presented the recipients of the 2018 Chicago Artadia Awards: Leonard Suryajaya and Derrick Woods-Morrow. Refined and excellently crafted, Suryajaya’s images, objects, and environments affirm every bit as much as they challenge. Creatively modifying relations of power, Woods-Morrow’s recent work combines elements of sexuality and interracial affinity, as well as poetic engagements with questions about how the things and beings of the world change as they move—and are moved. The Awardees were selected by Jordan Carter (Assistant Curator, Contemporary Art, The Art Institute of Chicago), Darby English (Carl Darling Buck Professor of Art History, Modern and Contemporary Art, Cultural Studies, UChicago and Adjunct Curator, the Museum of Modern Art), Courtenay Finn (Curator, Aspen Art Museum), and Jamie Isenstein (Artist). 

Dylan Miner, nibi // aanakwadoon (water and sky)Risography, 2018. Image courtesy of the artist.

The MSU Broad presented a collaboration between artists Oscar Tuazon and Dylan Miner— addressing their shared interests in water, land, and indigenous rights, new and unique prints are created onsite. The artists and museum intend to interject a sense of social and environmental consciousness into the context of the exposition, while raising awareness of each artists’ work. The MSU Broad presents a solo exhibition of Tuazon’s work in January, 2019, and Miner is included in the MSU Broad’s 2018–19 video program, When the Land Speaks. The MSU Broad is a university museum that serves as a gateway between Michigan State University and the world. 

CASE Art Fund

CASE Art Fund, founded by Catherine Edelman and Anette Skuggedal, provides support and exposure to fine art photographers whose projects focus on humanitarian issues that create a positive impact on social awareness, human rights, and education. Through a bi-annual grant, CASE will support an artist that aligns with the funds mission. The resulting photographs will be exhibited on billboards, kiosks, and other forms of public presentations, supported by discussions, workshops and small dinners. Syrian activist and photographer Omar Imam (b. 1979, Damascus) uses irony and a conceptual approach to respond to the violent situation in Syria. Live, Love, Refugee and Syrialsim is Imam’s photographic response to the chaos erupting in his homeland.

Artist Benjamin Larose (pictured) in his exhibition Dot your i's with Hearts at Chicago Artists Coalition, April-May, 2018. Photo: James Prinz 

Chicago Artists Coalition (CAC) presented the BOLT Artist-in-Residence Benjamin Larose uses the language of objects and material culture to creates pieces that explore themes such as gender, sexuality, status or taste, and question our assumptions on what it means to be “normal”. Larose's pieces are bold, irreverent and unapologetic, and transport viewers to a place where difference is depicted as epic and triumphant. CAC is a non-profit organization that supports contemporary Chicago artists and curators by offering residency programs, exhibitions, professional development and resources that enable them to live, work and thrive in the city.  

The Conservation Center’s Chicago laboratory. Courtesy of Hedrich Blessing, care of The Conservation Center

For the seventh consecutive year, The Conservation Center served as the exclusive art conservation and custom framing provider for EXPO CHICAGO. In addition to maintaining their sponsorship of the annual art fair, The Center’s booth showcased recently treated pieces from renowned Chicago artists such as Kerry James Marshall, Roger Brown, and Ed Paschke. Acting as an educational resource for EXPO CHICAGO guests, The Center’s booth offered viewers the opportunity to learn about the science and methodology behind repairing and preserving artwork.

Brendan Fernandes, Seven Imitate VI , 2015 Siligraph print, unique Courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery

Presenting work by Brendan Fernandes to accompany his solo exhibition at DePaul Art Museum, Seven Imitate (2015) was a suite of unique siligraph prints that investigate hybridity and identity, combining images of African artifacts with the limbs of ballet dancers. Fernandes addresses his identities as a classically trained ballet dancer and Kenyan immigrant, positing that identities may be transitory or adaptable. DePaul Art Museum (DPAM) is a world-class museum located on DePaul University’s campus—through the interdisciplinary lens of art, the museum provides a platform to connect people and advance knowledge in a global society.

©2018 Rational Dress Society

Highlighting inequities in the global garment industry, Human Rights Watch featured new work by The Rational Dress Society: UNDERWEAR, a line of ungendered undergarments. The work calls for sustainable, participatory, and transparent labor practices, while challenging narratives about gender identity. The current $2.4 trillion garment and footwear industry employs millions of workers worldwide. Clothes and shoes produced in countries in Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe are sold in the US, Canada, Europe and more. Labor abuses in factories that produce these clothes and shoes are rife. The Rational Dress Society’s UNDERWEAR line asks us to imagine a better world: one that prioritizes garment workers having an active voice in arriving at their own wages, and for that to be possible, be freely allowed to form or join unions if they so wish.

"Patriotic Vomit" Projection/Animation 10'x80' Collaboration with Luis Mayorga at the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago.

The Hyde Park Art Center was pleased to present new work by artists Eric J. Garcia and Frances Lightbound, whose works seek to call attention to overlooked issues, often right under our feet. Working together to create a vibrant installation that bridges Garcia’s figural murals within Lightbound’s conceptual sculpture, this collaboration seeks to disrupt the dominant understanding of American history that is often whitewashed, flattened, and contrary from known reality. Garcia and Lightbound are two former participants of the Center Program at Hyde Park Art Center.

Now celebrating its seventieth year, the Joyce Foundation invests in public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region. With support from Salon 94, the Joyce Foundation was pleased to present 90 Years by artist Carlos Rolón, whose work recently entered the Foundation’s collection. This installation examined the political effects and remnants of Hurricane Maria, one of the worst natural disasters on record to affect the island of Puerto Rico, and its relationship to the country’s history of post-industrialization and its environmental aftermath since the twentieth century. Here, Rolón explored the phenomena, which left the entire island without power, supplies, or infrastructure, by questioning the system of government, as well as the need for survival and relocation—not only for Puerto Ricans but for those who have faced similar disasters outside of their control. 

Entitled In Addition, MOSTYN presented an exhibition of artist editions, including works by Nina Beier, Sol Calero, Gabriele de Santis, Diango Hernández, Alek O., Jonathan Monk, Marinella Senatore, Shezad Dawood, and Simon Dybbroe Møller. Each participating artist produced work using paper and had been asked to reconsider the traditional model of producing an edition, where each version of a work is identical. Although appearing formally similar, each In Addition piece offers deviations and nuances that set each edition apart as a unique work, thereby playing with ideas of the original, the copy and work made in series. An accompanying exhibition of In Addition was installed at MOSTYN in Wales (since March 2018), and changes shape over time as editions are purchased and as further artists participate in the future. In Addition was curated by Adam Carr (Visual Arts Program Curator, MOSTYN). This new edition series of works by internationally renowned artists were available to purchase; proceeds from sales will be invested back into the institution’s exhibition and engagement program.

SHENEQUA, My Hair, My Crown, 2018, cotton, synthetic-hair, & satin foam rollers, 8' 3/4" (W) X 2' 1/2" (L)

YoungArts presented the works of Visual Arts alumna SHENEQUA, an interdisciplinary textile artist. Her new body of work, consisting of wall-mounted sculptural hair weavings that mimic African-American hairstyles—such as braiding and bantu knotting—explores cultural heritage and contemporary identity to celebrate family, womanhood, beauty, and the idea of sacred space. SHENEQUA connects personal and shared experiences and weaves a narrative that transcends history and the boundaries of cultural context. SHENEQUA was named a winner in Visual Arts by the National YoungArts Foundation, recently received the inaugural Daniel Arsham Fellowship by a jury of internationally recognized artists and YoungArts master teachers, including Derrick Adams, José Parlá, Teresita Fernández, and Daniel Arsham, alongside YoungArts President and CEO Carolina García Jayaram.

RIP Audubon's Bighorn Sheep: After John James Audubon 1845 / 2016

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) was pleased to present Frameworks of Absence, by artist and biologist Brandon Ballengée (American, b. 1974) who is known for his transdisciplinary artworks inspired by his ecological field and laboratory research. Since 2006, his series Frameworks of Absence has focused on the long-term and continued decline of biodiversity. The cut animal images are burned, and cremation remains gathered—participants are then asked to scatter these ashes in memory to species gone, towards a conservation mindset to counter future extinctions. Founded in 1970, NRDC Is a non-profit environmental advocacy group with more than 3 million members and online activists. The organization engages in a variety of interdisciplinary partnerships with artists, architects, and designers to engage the public on critical environmental issues. Special thanks to Ronald Feldman Gallery for partnering with NRDC to present this special exhibition.

ProjectArt transforms the nation’s public libraries into vital cultural hubs through artist residencies. The nonprofit’s award-winning model of change reaches 1,700 children in six cities throughout the country including Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Detroit, and Pittsburgh. ProjectArt presented My Kid Could Do That, organized by Kyle DeWoody (Board Member) and Laura Dvorkin (Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection), featuring the childhood works of renowned Chicago artists including Sarah Canright, Judy Chicago, Gladys Nilsson, and Karl Wirsum. Leveraging Chicago's year of creative youth, the curators drew attention to this richly creative period in artists' lives and buttresses an important mission to restore arts education in the lives of youth in Chicago and beyond.

Posters have been a beloved accompaniment to the Renaissance Society’s exhibitions program for more than 25 years. Beyond communicating essential information, they have served as a platform for long form essays, design experimentation, and individual artworks. As such, this visual archive tells the story of the Ren’s ongoing commitment to artists and their ideas. In a special presentation for EXPO CHICAGO, for the first time offered for sale a curated selection of display-quality posters from exhibitions by artists including Mai-Thu Perret, On Kawara, Trisha Donnelley, and Thomas Hirschhorn, along with notable group exhibitions organized by Solveig Øvstebø, Hamza Walker, and Susanne Ghez.

Joo Young Lee, The World Is Thin: Trembling Hill, 2018. Still from three-channel video with sound, 3:36 minutes © 2018

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) featured work from five recent alumni artists at  EXPO CHICAGO 2018: Kevin Demery (MFA 2018), Irmak Karasu (MFA 2018), Joo Young Lee (MFA 2018), Justin Rosier (MFAW 2018), and Tsailing Tseng (MFA 2018), organized by Graduate Curatorial Assistants Lindsey Bell and Neil O’Malley. For more than 150 years, SAIC has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program consistently ranking among the top programs in the nation by US News and World Report, SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries and state-of-the-art facilities. 

On Land and Beyond; Burlap, dye, wire, yarn, paper and wax; Varied dimensions; 2015

Threewalls presented Nnenna Okore, a current RaD Lab artist. Okore's exhibition, Guilty Pleasures, highlighted the effects of climate change, encouraging viewers to connect and re-connect with the natural world. By manipulating materials part of our everyday experience—paper, string, burlap and wire—into sculptural forms that often mimic forms in nature, Okore's presentation incorporated some of these materials, with conversations from social media, material waste from Chicago homes, and Okore's own reflections on ecological changes to create a highly sensory multimedia experience.

Focused on making, the Department of Visual Arts is one of the many specialized knowledge communities at the University of Chicago, one of the world’s great research institutions. At EXPO CHICAGO 2018, the Department of Visual Arts presented the breadth of artistic pursuits undertaken by its MFA community. At UChicago, art is inquiry, students pursue areas of overlap with the many other disciplines represented at the university—history, art history, science, philosophy, aesthetics, theater, music, and creative writing to name a few.