IN/SITU 2015 CURATOR LOUIS GRACHOS
The IN/SITU program provides exhibiting galleries the opportunity to showcase large-scale installations and site-specific works by leading artists during EXPO CHICAGO. Known for his community-focused museum direction and considerable skills as an arts administrator, Dr. and Mrs. Ernest C. Butler Executive Director of The Contemporary Austin Louis Grachos brings his unique curatorial vision to the 2015 IN/SITU program. Prior to his work rebranding and successfully merging the AMOA and Arthouse institutions as The Contemporary Austin, Grachos served as Director of the renowned Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. During his 10-year tenure at the Albright-Knox, Grachos oversaw the growth and development of collections, exhibitions and programming at the 150-year-old gallery. Grachos was previously the director of SITE Santa Fe, where he was a driving force behind a highly successful international biennial. He has also held curatorial and administrative positions at the Americas Society Visual Arts Program, New York; the Queens Museum of Art; the Center for Fine Arts, Miami; and the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego. A native of Canada, Grachos was educated at the University of Toronto and the Center for Museum Studies at John F. Kennedy University in San Francisco, California. Grachos follows past IN/SITU curators Renaud Proch (2014) | Executive Director, Independent Curators International (ICI); Shamim M. Momin (2013) | Director and Curator, Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND); and Michael Ned Holte (2012) | independent curator and art critic.
IN/SITU 2015 Artists
drip(II), drip(III), and drip(IV), 2014
Marianne Boesky Gallery
Matthias Bitzer’s multimedia practice dissolves traditional artistic boundaries of form and content, producing works that operate on multiple aesthetic and conceptual planes. Bitzer’s Drip light sculptures are strong examples of this particular characteristic. Created for the artist’s first solo show at Marianne Boesky Gallery in 2014, these works pair the stark Minimalism of angular concrete with the airy beauty of fluorescent light, resulting in compelling musings on form and space. Notably, these works’ physicality co-exists with a more cerebral presence due to their textual motif, a nod to Bitzer’s ongoing literary interests. Drip sparks the viewer’s simultaneous contemplation of disparate but related visual and metaphysical realms.
Self Talk, 2015
Carol Bove's Self Talk is comprised of four brightly colored, irregularly shaped "crushed glyphs,"—a term that the artist refers to with regard to these forms. In Self Talk, the objects appear flexible despite their steel materiality. Arranged on a low, wide pedestal and distanced from the viewer, the visual presence of the sculptures is contradicted by the arrangement's title, which challenges the viewer’s ability to approach works without preconceived notions, or an inner voice.
From three windows, 5 colours for 252 places, 2006
From three windows – 5 Colours for 252 places was first presented and conceived for the upper galleries at the Museum of Modern Art Oxford in 2006. The work creates a permeable space in which elements of the gallery’s architecture are multiplied. Buren used three large windows located at one end of the museum as a template for a sequence of eighteen rectangular panels with each one suspended from the ceiling. Each panel is subdivided into twelve transparent Perspex squares, both clear and colored. Embedded in a refined sensibility of color and form, the work engages the viewer in a visual and physical dialogue with space. From three windows - 5 Colours for 252 places will be re-configured especially for IN/SITU.
Alice (3472–76), 2015
Lora Reynolds Gallery
The objects from Andy Coolquitt’s work come from everyday life. He explores the relationship between groups of objects as they travel from the street to the studio and the exhibition space. Colorful metal tubing—from abandoned shopping carts and children’s toys—is assembled into simple geometric forms, and often incorporates light bulbs. It can be difficult to tell whether Coolquitt’s objects are “somebody mades” (curiously modified things he finds as-is on the streets), “finished works” (in which the hand of the artist is evident), or “in-betweens” (objects that may have the potential to be incorporated into a finished work). This ambiguity of origin collapses the distinction between art and life, highlighting Coolquitt’s ultimate goal of honoring existing communities while building new ones.
Freefall is a piece from British-artist Antony Gormley’s EXPOSED EXPANSION WORKS, a series that reveals the space where the body was, rather than represent the body itself. The works are open in structure, as if they were for all intents and purposes drawings in space, yet each reveals an empty body-space at its core. Belonging neither to architecture nor anatomy, the depiction of the corporeal in Freefall is evidence of the more random matrices found in fractal geometry.
In Sung Jang’s MOBI, subjects rise up—supported by a team of single modular structures stacked in succession—to form surfaces, shapes, and seats. Individually, each module contains three sleek S-curve sweeps joined by a trefoil band at its middle. Architecturally akin to buttresses, Jang’s lightweight modules divide and distribute weight, allowing MOBI’s fluted form to concisely withstand considerable weight or adeptly multiply many times over. MOBI’s multifaceted applications highlight the inherent structural integrity and capability of a single unit to create any shelter, sofa, or chandelier.
Drone Wing, 2013
Galerie Thomas Schulte
Chicago-based artist Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle is known for his true-to-scale recreations of historical artworks, architecture and artifacts. Among these sources, the artist has worked with the subjects of the U.S. atomic bomb, in a piece entitled Fatman; Colin Powell’s fictitious Iraqi mobile biological weapons lab; Mies van der Rohe’s 50 x 50 House; and Brancusi’s Bird in Space. For the 2015 IN/SITU program, he presents Drone Wing, a 27 foot long rendition of a wing from the 2001 RQ-1 Predator, the first unmanned aerial vehicle deployed over Afghanistan.
The European, 2009
Like his contemporaries and immediate predecessors in the Post-Minimalist and Minimalist generations, Keith Sonnier challenges traditional definitions of sculpture by using new materials and processes. He began using neon in 1968, exploring the effects of light and color in space as well as their impact on surrounding architecture. In The European (2009), Sonnier uses the ceiling as a support, similar to how he has used the wall and floor in other pieces.
Celestial Season, 2015
Jessica Stockholder’s Celestial Season is a sculptural installation that adopts and interacts with the unique architecture of art fairs. A luminous “cloud,” composed of translucent plastic baskets, the piece floats just above the boundaries of art fair walls, buoyant and playful in the context of its locale. At once warm and cool, like a breeze on a summer day, the piece stands at odds with the formality of the art fair space, and encourages audiences to interact with it, move around it, and spend time with it as a reprieve from the regimental booth layouts.
Cerith Wyn Evans
In Girum Imus Nocte Et Consumimur Igni, 2008
Cerith Wyn Evans' In Girum Imus Nocte Et Consuminar Igni is one of his most well-known pieces that elaborate on post-cinematic contexts. The suspended circular construction, with letters made of neon spelling out its title, allows one to see the letters both frontally and in reverse. The title of the work is also the name of both a text and a film by Guy Debord, the former published in 1978 and the latter first screened publicly in 1981. The Latin phrase is a palindrome, which is literalized in the circularity of the piece in relation to a reel of film itself.
Inaugurated in 2014, IN/SITU Outside provides the opportunity for EXPO CHICAGO Exhibitors to present temporary public art installations situated along the Lakefront and throughout Chicago neighborhoods, presented in partnership with the Chicago Park District (CPD) and Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE).
Attrape-soleil, 2013 | Bortolami
Located on Chicago’s Museum Campus
Attrape-soleil by French artist Daniel Buren experiments with the material of colored plexi, and its ability to transmit and reflect light. Similar to the form of the stripe, a signature element in Buren's work, this piece continues the interest in bold patterning and order within the artist's practice, based on arrangement of color and placement within a space. This public work is a variation on the themes he has explored in several outdoor pieces, which use the movement of the sun to create colored shadows—namely La Tonnelle, presented at the Venice Biennale in 2007, or the covered walkway Passages under a colored sky (2007) in Anyang, South Korea.
Habakuk (Homage to Max Ernst), 2014 | BORZO Gallery / The Mayor Gallery
Located on Chicago’s Museum Campus
Habakuk (Homage to Max Ernst) is welded from heavy stainless steel plates divided into three parts. Through the use of a vacuum pump, the outside air pressure ‘shapes’ the piece according to the preset circumstances designed by the artist. The final name of Ewerdt Hilgemann’s work always is decided after the process has come to a halt, depending on the associations it brings to the artist. In this case, the birdlike beak form recalls the sculpture Habakuk by Max Ernst, noted in the dedication of the title.
Idee di pietra—Olmo / Ideas of Stone–Elm, 2008 | Marian Goodman Gallery
Located on Chicago’s Museum Campus
Italian artist Giuseppe Penone’s monumental, thirty-foot-tall bronze tree features the artist's signature manipulation of natural form. The tree as living sculpture is a recurring theme for Penone. Idee di pietra—Olmo / Ideas of Stone–Elm takes this form and and incorporates a precariously-placed boulder—a remnant evidence of the sculptures’ manmade composition—to demonstrate the effects of human interaction on the natural world. As an original member of the Arte Povera movement, Penone belongs to a tradition of artists who sought to dissolve divisions between art and life by using commonplace materials. This piece expands on that concept, employing natural materials and forms in an exploration of the contrasting and fundamental relationships between man and nature.
Chicago Park District Public Art Installations
Herb Alpert, Spirit Totems, 2010-2012 | Courtesy of the Artist
Chakaia Booker, Brick House, 2015 | Trust for Public Land
Mel Kendrick, Marker #1, Marker #2, 2009 | David Nolan Gallery
Robert Lobe, Nature’s Clock, 2006 | Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Joel Shapiro, Untitled, 2002-2003 | Pace Gallery
Ai Weiwei, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Bronze, 2010 | Courtesy of the Artist
Christopher Wool, Untitled, 2013 | Luhring Augustine Gallery