Art-In-Buildings at 1000M

19 April 2018

Contemporary Art at 1000M’s Award Winning Sales Gallery

For those who have visited the award-winning 1000M Sales Gallery, one feature stands out that is often overlooked among among the accolades for the building’s incredible interior design and lavish assortment of amenities: the collection of contemporary art. The 15 works currently on display span artists of multiple generations, nationalities and ways of working, but each and every one of them is committed to pushing the dialogue of what art means today. Though the majority of works are paintings, they explore image-making in relation to photography, digital imagery, collage, sculpture and video.

Art-In-Buildings at 1000M's Award Winning Sales Gallery

This world-class collection of art was organized by Art-In-Buildings and the program’s curator, Jennie Lamensdorf. Though Art-In-Buildings operates within 30 buildings across the globe, Lamensdorf pays special attention to what makes each building, the city it’s located in and the culture of that city unique and particular. As a result, every curatorial project is customized based on the specificity of the exhibition’s location.

 

For 1000M, Lamensdorf was there from the beginning, attending design meetings with Kara Mann and her team to gain insight into the aesthetic vision and ambitions for the luxury condominium interiors. As the Seek Beauty blog has covered before, Mann’s designs for 1000M are sophisticated with a thoughtful edge, rooted in a unique Chicago vernacular with a global concern for beautiful living. The artworks selected for Art-In-Buildings at 1000M reflect those same characteristics and concerns, speaking to the inclusion of both Chicago artists and artists representative of a global art world — ranging from Spain to Poland to China and Ghana. Of course, it goes without saying that a residential building is clearly different from the austerity of a white cube gallery space. In one way, the art enhances the building; in another sense, the people and lived-in-ness bring humanity and feelings of home to the collection.  

Art-In-Buildings at 1000M's Award Winning Sales Gallery

Art-In-Buildings was founded in 2000 by Francis Greenburger by way of Time Equities Inc., where Greenburger is Chairman and CEO. Greenburger is a true patron of the arts who in 1986 created the Francis J. Greenburger Awards, awarded to under-recognized artists (past recipients include Magdalena Abakanowicz who’s public sculpture Agora lives in Grant Park); in 1992 Greenburger founded the Omi International Arts Center in Columbia County, New York, which offers residencies to artists, writers, musicians and dancers. Arts-In-Buildings has previously sponsored an Artists-In-Construction residency at 50 West in New York City, in which four artists received studio space and unrestricted access to the building under construction. The final works produced by the artists were  in response to the construction itself and include epic portraits of the construction workers by Hugo Bastidas. While this project was unprecedented in its ambition and impact, 1000M buyers and neighborhood art lovers can expect that Greenburger’s commitment to art programming at 1000M will rise to meet the challenge.

A Peek Across the World: Dragon Lights

17 April 2018

Dragon Lights: From China to Soldier Field

In our world today, China is a nation that is on everyone’s minds. Over the past 35 years, they’ve redefined the economic workings of their society to become the largest national economy after the United States. But perhaps what makes China even more fascinating is the simple fact that it is over 4,000 years old, making it one of the oldest civilizations in human history. Within this context, Dragon Lights, an international traveling exhibit that has come to 1000M’s neighborhood, speaks to China’s long arc of history, as well as the richness of its culture.

1000M Soldier Field Dragon Lights Hand Made Sculptures

Dragon Lights is an international traveling exhibit that has been seen by millions of guests around the globe. On view until May 6th, the installation is located at the South Parking Lot of Soldier Field — just a short distance from 1000M. The Chicago exhibition features thousands of light sculptures that required dozens of Chinese artisans to travel to the site to custom build the sculptures by hand. The exhibit also features live performances involving traditional yo-yo’s, contortionists and many more variety acts, as well as traditional handicraft demonstrations like miniature sun-baked clay figurines and intricately-painted glass jewelry.

1000M Soldier Field Dragon Lights Hand Made Sculptures

The festival is open every night from 5:30 – 10:00 PM on weekdays and Sundays, 5:30 – 11:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays. If you buy tickets online they are valid for one entry on any day (so you can buy your tickets well in advance of deciding what day to actually go). Rain, snow or shine, the sculptures, performers and craftsmen are shining bright and giving their all. Dragon Lights is a great event for all ages, creating an opportunity for a spectacular family outing, while experiencing some of the rich and beautiful culture of China. Make sure not to miss out on the sampling of the amazing Chinese cuisine, as well!

Hand painted jewelry made by artisans at Dragon Lights
Hand painted jewelry made by artisans at Dragon Lights

// For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Dragon Lightswebsite. //

Breaking the Mold: 34th CHICAGO LATINO FILM FESTIVAL

12 April 2018

The 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival Breaks Stereotypes

1000M LUXURY CONDOS LATINO FILM FESTIVAL

The 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival is happening now from April 5th to the 19th at the AMC River East 21 Theatres. The festival is produced every April by the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago, a pan-Latino, nonprofit, multidisciplinary arts organization dedicated to developing, promoting and increasing awareness of Latino culture by presenting a wide variety of art forms. Like the Asian American Showcase, which we covered earlier this week, this Festival enriches Chicago’s cultural scene by promoting positive images of Latinos, breaking stereotypes and bringing people together to experience Latino cultures. Since its launch in 1985 with an audience of 500, the Festival now attracts more than 35,000, taking its place as the largest and most comprehensive Latino film festival in the country.

Broche De Oro: Cominezos by Raul Marchand Sanchez
Broche De Oro: Cominezos by Raul Marchand Sanchez

There are over 100 feature and short films being shown in the Film Festival — hailing from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the United States — coupled with a robust roster of special events highlighting Latino culture. To foster deeper connections to these cinematic and cultural experiences, many of the screenings offer Q&A sessions in which audience members speak directly to the filmmakers. (There is also the opportunity to participate in the Audience Choice Awards by voting for your favorite feature, documentary and short).

From Now On by Ivonne Coll
From Now On by Ivonne Coll

Opening night was dedicated to Puerto Rico, where residents are still recovering from Hurricane Maria that hit the island last year. The evening was an occasion of much celebration, exuberance and pride as attendees were treated to the USA premiere of Broche De Oro: Comienzos by Raul Marchand Sanchez and the world premiere of Ivonne Coll’s short film, From Now On. Both directors were in attendance for the screenings. Broche De Oro is a rambunctious comedy that follows Rafael, Pablo and Anselmo, who meet at a home for the elderly, and build a foundation for friendship based on humor and the will to live. They recruit other residents to challenge the rules leading to chaos and hilarity for everyone they meet. From Now On is a 10-minute film, yet achieves deep engagement as two middle age Latinas from conservative families embark on life changing decisions when they stop along the Malibu Coast.

The Summit starring Ricardo Darín
The Summit starring Ricardo Darín

If you’ve missed the festival thus far, don’t worry; there’s a rich lineup scheduled, available on the 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival’s website. The Summit by Santiago Mitre will be presented as part of the closing night ceremonies, and award-winning actor Ricardo Darín will be present to receive the Gloria Career Achievement Award. For 1000M residents who are curious culturalists, this incredible showcase is not to be missed!

FREEWHEELING DIVERSITY: THE 23rd ANNUAL ASIAN AMERICAN SHOWCASE

10 April 2018

THE GENE SISKEL ANNUAL ASIAN AMERICAN SHOWCASE

Chicago has been stuck with a stubborn chill that has extended the long winter for our city’s residents. That didn’t prevent throngs of theatergoers from keeping warm on a Friday evening with conversation and excitement as they gathered for a showing of Pretty Woman at the Oriental Theatre. But just around the corner, up State Street, a smaller crowd gathered at the Gene Siskel Film Center for the opening of On/Off Grid, an exhibition of Asian American art, part of the larger 23rd Annual Asian American Showcase. The first film of the series, Fish Bones wouldn’t start for another hour but film buffs, academics and curious culturists came early to peruse the displays. The paintings and other images explore our current moment in history in which so much is defined by technology and being “on the grid.” In this warm, intimate environment, there were tasty treats including baozi, a Chinese-type bun steamed and filled with delectable goodness like slightly-sweet pork.

Curious culturists gather for "On/Off Grid" and Fish Bones by Joanne Mony Park
Curious culturists gather for “On/Off Grid” and Fish Bones (2018) by Joanne Mony Park

The main event kicked off when Tim Hugh, the program director for the Foundation for Asian American Independent Media, led the opening remarks. He spoke of how Hollywood continues to be challenged by depicting Asian characters on screen without stereotypical accents, who are complex or have nuanced histories, personalities and desires. After establishing the context that the Asian American Showcase works to disrupt, the lights dimmed and the screening of Fish Bones began.

One of many artworks by Asian American artists part of "On/Off Grid"
One of many artworks by Asian American artists part of “On/Off Grid”

Fish Bones (2018) is the debut feature by Joanne Mony Park, a talented New York-based filmmaker whose work explores personal themes and cultural clashes. The film follows Hana, who leads a double life, pursuing a secret modeling career while working at the family’s Korean restaurant and assisting her chronically-ill mother. The film is a dreamy, non-linear rollercoaster filled with long tracking shots and a hip soundtrack that includes music by Devendra Banhart, Nicolas Jaar and Dirty Beaches.

Fish Bones (2018) is a dreamy, non-linear psychological rollercoaster

In a Q&A session that followed the screening, Park explained that she began developing the film during her last year at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. The filming took place over a six-day period around Fire Island, Queens and Manhattan. The independent, renegade spirit of the production comes through in the final product of the film itself, with a defiance of simple stereotypes that strikes a chord with contemporary concerns in the Asian American community as well as in the larger American population today.

 

Check out the remaining films the Siskel and FAAIM have lined up for the showcase:

FIND ME

2018, TOM HUANG, USA, 104 MIN. WITH TOM HUAN, SARA AMINI.

Find Me (2018) by Tom Huang

Wednesday, April 11th, 8:00pm

One man’s transformation comes by way of a travel adventure in this tragicomedy featuring spectacular vistas of the American West. Joe, an unhappily divorced corporate drone, is the target of affectionate needling by Amelia (Amini), a sprightly co-worker who pokes fun at his stodginess and regales him with tales of her frequent travels. One day Amelia disappears, leaving Joe only a handwritten itinerary and a cryptic note with the words, “Find me.” Ditching obligations that include being a doormat to his ex and chore boy to his quarrelsome mom, he sets off for Amelia’s “amazing other world,” only to encounter a host of goofy accidents and pitfalls that await a couch potato in the great outdoors. Director Huang (WHY AM I DOING THIS?) brings a touching world-weary pathos to the role of Joe, which serves him well in the film’s unexpected finale. DCP digital. (BS)”

 

STAND UP MAN

2017, ARAM COLLIER, CANADA, 85 MIN. WITH DANIEL JUN, NATHALIE YOUNGLAI.

Stand Up Man (2017) by Aram Collier

Friday, April 13th, 8:00pm

“The dreams of one aspiring standup comic take a beating in this comedy that satirizes a few stereotypes (Korean, Canadian, Millennial) while leading its hero, beleaguered Moses Kim (Jun), to a happy and much-needed attitude adjustment. Surprised with the deed to his parents’ small family restaurant on his wedding day, Moses, who can’t cook worth a darn, sees his dream future taking wing as he settles down to a workday life of drudgery and, soon, fatherhood. Director Collier leads Moses through a set of trials, including being saddled with the guardianship of his punky and curious teenage cousin from Korea, that test his sense of self as well as his sense of humor, before the standup man discovers that there’s more than one way to become a showbiz sensation. DigiBeta video. (BS)”

 

PROOF OF LOYALTY: KAZUO YAMANE AND THE NISEI SOLDIERS OF HAWAII

2017, LUCY OSTRANDER AND DON SELLERS, USA 55 MIN.

Proof of Loyalty (2017) by Lucy Ostrander and Don Sellers

Saturday, April 14th, 8:00pm

“The WWII heroism and loyalty of Hawaiian Nisei, or second-generation Japanese Americans, is highlighted through one hero, Kazuo Yamane, whose little-known story is pertinent to today’s debates on immigration. While citizens of Japanese heritage on the U.S. mainland were rounded up and incarcerated in detention camps, relatively few among Hawaii’s 40% Japanese population were detained, and large numbers of men volunteered for military and other service. Drafted into the army prior to Pearl Harbor, Yamane was singled out for intelligence work due to his knowledge of the Japanese language and culture. The film details his substantial contributions to the war effort through work at the Pentagon and in Europe under Eisenhower.

Preceded by the short THE ORANGE STORY by Erika Street (2016, USA, 18 min.). Both in DCP digital. (BS)”

 

MINDING THE GAP

2018, BING LIU, USA, 100 MIN.

Minding the Gap (2018) by Bing Liu

Wednesday, April 18th, 8:15pm

“Three boys, Zack, Keire, and Bing, come of age on the wrong side of the tracks in Rockford, Illinois, sharing experiences and secrets, but also seeking to forget the bad things that happen at home behind closed doors. Over a period of years, self-taught filmmaker Bing’s deft and fluid camera tracks their hours of freedom at the skating park, shares their confidences, and creates a chronicle that addresses with remarkable intimacy the soaring exhilaration being alive. The boys become young adults before our eyes, struggling with the bewildering new demands of manhood. Zack becomes a father, Keire loses his, and Bing begins to come to terms with the past. Special advance screening courtesy of Kartemquin Films. DCP digital. (BS)”

 

// A full list of programming and tickets can be found HERE//

Past Forward: Architecture and Design at the Art Institute

5 April 2018

REVIEWING THE PAST AND FUTURE OF ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN IN CHICAGO AND BEYOND

Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett. Proposed Civic Center Square, Plan of Chicago, 1909.
Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett. Proposed Civic Center Square, Plan of Chicago, 1909.

The Art Institute of Chicago has always had an interest in modern architecture and design, collecting drawings, furniture, graphic and industrial designs throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Last fall, they opened a new installation devoted to the museum’s extensive collection, sharing the collection’s breadth while also creating a space that examines how architecture and design is a multilayered, ever-changing experience. As the curators explain, “architects and designers have thought of their work as a speculative, experimental endeavor,” “to propose bold visions for the future”[i].

The entrance to the exhibition, Past Forward, located in the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago.
The entrance to the exhibition, Past Forward, located in the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago.

As you enter the gallery space, you are greeted by the most foundational work towards developing the city of Chicago as we know today, drawings from Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett’s 1909 Plan of Chicago. Through these drawings you begin to understand how these important urban planners addressed the grid system, the idea of a city center and the incorporation of parks and the lakeside as public amenities.

A collection of Bauhaus printed material. The Bauhaus was present in Chicago from 1919-1933.
A collection of Bauhaus printed material. The Bauhaus was present in Chicago from 1919-1933.

From there you can practically travel through time, learning of other important architects’ contributions to the city of Chicago and ideas of architecture. Original publications from the Bauhaus display the European influence that entered the United States post-World War II through luminaries like Mies Van Der Rohe and his radically simple designs for IIT. A model by Studio Gang Architects showcases how contemporary urban planning must continue to contend with natural features of the landscape like bodies of water and that ideas of architecture must continue to evolve with the times.

Studio Gang Architects and Jeanne Gang. Northerly Island Model, 2012.
Studio Gang Architects and Jeanne Gang. Northerly Island Model, 2012.

You can also travel across the globe with a two-channel video installation by Thai design group, All(zone), that tackles issues like affordable housing and increasingly dense populations that are as old as the idea of a metropolis itself. The installation helps the design presentation feel contemporary with two videos being displayed at once or at times one video and a text component which is made to feel slightly autobiographical. The installation includes Light House, a prototypical collapsible house structure made mainly of fabric which is installed in an abandoned Bangkok parking lot, with a design approach that offers a light-hearted look at serious questions architects and designers continue to wrestle with.   

all(zone) and Rachaporn Choochuey. Light House: The Art of Living Lightly, 2015.
all(zone) and Rachaporn Choochuey. Light House: The Art of Living Lightly, 2015.

As 1000M  is poised to change the city’s skyline, it is interesting to explore its architectural precedents along with a host of contemporary ideas that are informing today’s conversation.

// To learn more of architect Helmut Jahn and designer Kara Mann’s visions for 1000M, click here //

// To learn more about the exhibition, visit the Art Institute’s website by clicking here //

 

[i] http://www.artic.edu/exhibition/past-forward-architecture-and-design-art-institute

WAIT WAIT… DON’T TELL ME! THE ART OF INFORMATIVE COMEDY

29 March 2018

THE ART OF INFORMATIVE COMEDY

With the rise of highly advanced technological devices and celebrity politicians, the weekly news is often as confusing as it is concerning. What better way to navigate the world of news than with a panelist of comedians ready to turn a headline on, well, its head? Every Thursday night at the Chase Bank Auditorium, news and comedy lovers may do just that as they enjoy the witty games designed by Peter Sagal and Bill Curtis for Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!, the NPR news quiz!

Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me From NPR and WBEZ

As the audience lounges in lush seats that fill the intimate Chase Bank Auditorium, the show’s host, Peter Sagal runs through the highlights of the week’s news, fielding call-in contestants to play his news quiz. Regardless of the topic, the three panelists that join Sagal and scorekeeper Bill Curtis on stage are quick to provide a hilarious analogy or a humorous turn of phrase. For the taping on Saturday, March 24th, Sagal and Curtis were joined by regular panelists Amy Dickinson and Adam Burke, as well as first time panelist Rashawn Scott.

Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me Stage with Contestants

In addition to commenting on news stories and call-in contestants, the panelists each prepare and read a news-style article that describes a seemingly impossible story. This week, Amy told the story of a man who inserted a transit card into his hand and was subsequently fined for mutilating a transit card, while Rashawn told the story of a computer programming mother who outfitted her drone to serve as a baby monitor. The contestant is asked to identify the real story among the fabricated ones, often times revealing that truth is indeed stranger than fiction. This week it was Amy who described the actual story of a man who inserted a transit card into his hand, and was then fined for both mutilating a transit card — and for not having a transit card while on the train!

Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me Bill and Peter, Host and Special Guest

In addition to the regular panelists, each week features a segment called “Not My Job,” where a well-known celebrity answers questions related to, but distinctly not in the realm of their professions. This week, LeVar Burton of Reading Rainbow and Star Trek fame joined Sagal and company on stage to play the game. Due to his role as Geordi on Star Trek, Burton was asked to answer questions about the show Geordie Shore. Similar to its inspiration, Jersey Shore, Geordie Shore is a reality television show that follows residents of Newcastle (in the UK) who are known to call themselves ‘Geordies’. As entertaining as it is informative, this game is a quintessential component of the show and routinely leaves the audience in stitches. 

Beyond introducing both the contestant and the audience to the less well-lit corners of our culture, “Not My Job” allows Sagal and the panelists to briefly interview and interact with the contestant. This week, the audience heard of LeVar Burton’s podcast, LeVar Burton Reads, and were further treated to his thoughts on the success and implications of Black Panther as they compare with his experience on Roots

LeVar Burton enters the Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me stage triumphantly

While the taped version of the show only runs for an hour on-air, live audiences are treated to a full two hours of Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! Those in attendance are further treated with a Q&A with the panelists and hosts. Uniquely informative while still uproariously funny, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! has become a Chicago tradition. Located within walking distance from 1000M and wedged between the Cultural Mile and the Theatre District, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! is the perfect way to wind down the week. 

// Tickets and show dates may be found here //

Simone Leigh at the Visiting Artists Program

27 March 2018

The Visiting Artists Program at The Art Institute of Chicago

A beacon of the arts and education on the Cultural Mile, The Art Institute of Chicago hosts artists from around the world through their Visiting Artists Program. The program began when the museum was founded in 1868 and was later formalized after a donation in 1951. During its 150 year tenure, the program has continued its free public forum structure, welcoming residents, students and aspiring artists from the 1000M neighborhood and greater Chicagoland area to the Rubloff Theater at the Art Institute.

Just as their slogan states: “Visiting Minds. Lasting Influence,” the Visiting Artists Program is a platform for innovative ideas that inspire Chicago’s next generation of artist. Notable past visiting artists include Jeff Koons, Theaster Gates, and Toyo Ito. We attended Simone Leigh’s Visiting Artist Lecture on March 20 to give you a taste of all the 1000M neighborhood has to offer.

View of “Simone Leigh,” 2015, Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Kentucky.
Installation view of “Simone Leigh,” 2015, Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Kentucky.

Simone Leigh

As a Chicago native and Kenwood Academy alum, Leigh spent much time on the Cultural Mile and at the Art Institute. The museum’s rich collection shaped her early perspectives on art and art history, helping develop her artistic sensibility. Today she is based out of New York where she is represented by the Luhring Augustine gallery. Her object-based exploration of black female subjectivity has been featured, recognized and awarded by organizations throughout the world including The New Museum, The Studio Museum and A Blade of Grass.

Much of Leigh’s work is in response to the colonial reenactment performed at the 1931 Paris Exposition. Leigh suggests that while masquerading as a cultural exchange, the migrating architecture of the Paris Exposition reified French colonialism. To provide new representation and perspectives on this history and to explore truth, she merges anatomy and architecture in her sculptures.

Simone Leigh by Paul Mpagi Sepuya
Simone Leigh by Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Upcoming Visiting Artist Lectures

Nari Ward and Maggie Nelson will conclude this season of the Art Institute’s Visiting Artists Program. Sculptor and and champion of found objects, Nari Ward will join the forum on Wednesday, April 18th. Author and poet, Maggie Nelson will join the dialogue on Monday, April 30th.

For more information on the series, or to download lecture podcasts, visit www.saic.edu/vap.

Chicago Architectural Biennial and Beyond

20 March 2018

In a city that is home to numerous design firsts, it’s hardly surprising that some of the greatest minds in the field would gather here to discuss architecture and its historical significance. And with Chicago’s rich architecture history comes a number of significant buildings across the area. 1000M itself aims to add to that list, ushering in a new design era for Chicago. We delve more deeply into the architectural history of the city and ways that you can see the best of what your backyard has to offer.

 

Chicago Architectural Biennial

Chicago Architecture Biennial Make New History

Chicago’s recent Architecture Biennial brought more than 141 practitioners in the fields of architecture and design together to discuss the theme “Make New History.” The exhibit, housed in the Chicago Cultural Center, aimed to encourage the public to consider architecture in a historical context, both for its impact on the past and its potential to shape the future.

 

Chicago Skyscrapers:  a History

Indeed, Chicago architects have had quite an impact on the field’s history – in fact, the first skyscraper was constructed here. Because Chicago’s architectural history is so vast, we’ve included 11 of the most noteworthy skyscrapers below:

1000M-walking-map

1000M

Designed by famed architect Helmut Jahn, this arresting 832-foot skyscraper is outfitted in his signature all-glass styling. The building begins as a rectangle at its base and widens toward the top to allow for expansive views of Grant Park and Lake Michigan.

1000M Luxury Condo Architecture

The Rookery Building

Completed in the late 19th century, this La Salle Street office building is considered the oldest high-rise in Chicago. Frank Lloyd Wright remodeled the lobby to introduce a glass ceiling, beautifully illuminating the space in what is known as the “light court.”

 

Art Institute of Chicago

Initially constructed to house the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893, the Art Institute of Chicago now spans five buildings, the original of which was developed in the Beaux Arts style. The Modern Wing, the most recent and largest expansion of the museum, was designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano and offers beautiful views of Millennium Park.

Architecture Chicago Art Institute

Chicago Cultural Center

The Chicago Cultural Center, the city’s first public library, is also famous for its two spectacular stained glass domes. The building’s Garland Court façade now boasts a beautiful mural celebrating the women who’ve made Chicago’s arts and culture so vibrant.

 

Carbide and Carbon Building

The Carbide and Carbon Building is a stunning Art Deco skyscraper outfitted in black granite. The hotel within is undergoing remodeling and will debut with a new name, the St. Jane Chicago Hotel, after the suffragette and “mother” of social work, Jane Addams.

 

Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership

The Spertus Institute building boasts a unique window wall comprised of over 700 pieces of glass.  The glass façade’s geometry is such that each piece exists as a parallelogram in three dimensions, and was designed to represent the open nature of the Institute within.

 

James R. Thompson Center

The James R. Thompson Center was designed by 1000M architect Helmut Jahn, and houses 150 pieces of an art collection funded by the state of Illinois, in addition to the state’s governmental offices. The building has a unique reddish pink and blue color scheme that complements a circular and airy atrium.

Thompson Center

Chicago Federal Plaza

The Chicago Federal Plaza encompasses three buildings, but perhaps most notably, it features the large red “Flamingo” sculpture by Alexander Calder outside.  The sculpture was unveiled in the mid-70s after a parade in which the artist was pulled through the streets on a circus wagon.

 

Chicago Board of Trade Building

Another Art Deco marvel, the Chicago Board of Trade Building plays host to a 31-foot tall statue of the goddess of agriculture, Ceres, amongst other exterior sculptures that represent the trade inside the building. Expanded in 1980 by Helmut Jahn’s firm, the building now boasts 45 stories.

Chicago Board of Trade Building

Monadnock Building

The Monadnock Building revolutionized the building process through its usage of aluminum in its decorative stairs.  It was also one of the first buildings to be named as a Chicago Architectural Landmark.

 

Grant Park

Dubbed “Chicago’s front yard,” Grant Park is home to a number of features, including the Art Institute, the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, and numerous gardens and parks.

Grant Park Architecture

Chicago Architecture Walking Guide

To make your exploration of Chicago’s design easier, we’ve developed a downloadable Chicago architecture walking guide that includes the 11 buildings from our list. Just click to download and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the best architectural marvels in the city.

THE WOLVES: A HOWL TO REMEMBER

13 March 2018

Bathed in the sterile white light unique to indoor soccer pitches, The Wolves opens with two simultaneous conversations darting between the players. Frenetic and frank, these dueling conversations quickly introduce us to the characters in a way difficult to capture on stage. As opposed to neatly framed encounters easily understood by the audience, the playwright Sarah DeLappe daringly throws her audience into the bustle of activity that defines high school girls’ soccer teams without even so much as a nod to who we are listening to.  These early conversations deftly provide broad character strokes but DeLappe’s genius really starts to shine as the rest of her play unfolds like an open study.

The Wolves stretch out before their games

Relying heavily upon simple cues such as unique hairstyles, bandanas and jersey numbers to identify the characters, Director Vanessa Stalling expertly guides the audience through the complex experience of adolescence. The frenzy of conversation between the nine girls as they stretch for their weekly indoor soccer game immediately communicates a sense of community unique to their world. While it is only passingly alluded to on a couple occasions, it is clear that the team regards each other as family, a family the audience is graciously invited to join. DeLappe has an uncanny ability to capture this unique sense of community through the excited multi-person, multi-conversation dialogue that opens the show. The pithy quips thrown between the teammates lay the groundwork for the complex set of relations the play quickly delves into.

These moments allow for audiences glean the inner workings of characters lives

Built around the premise that the audience watches the team warm up before continuing to the field itself, each scene is fueled with a powerful, almost explosive energy. Protected from the players and their warm up kicks as they are by the nets hanging throughout the Goodman Theatre, Director Stalling’s staging allows the audience to fully experience this compound energy. Punctuating scenes with fierce kicks into the net, Director Stalling expands the emotional space of the play directly into the audience in a way unique to the lived experience of the characters.

The Wolves explores a broad range of emotions from joy to shame and jealousy

Through the college recruiters, fierce competition, and internal strife that the players face, the audience comes to better understand how one feels at home in such a unique world. As only three of the nine girls are pulled aside by the recruiter from University of Texas, the audience feels the shame of rejection, but also the anticipation of success, and even the green eyed monster of jealousy. Such emotional empathy is a given after the audience’s immersion in their world; the fact that these emotions remain long after the play has ended, however, is a different matter.

While The Wolves studies a world of competitive high school sports that many of us will never know, the comedy and tragedy depicted by the characters strike a universal chord. At the end of the day, The Wolves is an excellent reflection on what it means to be a part of something larger than yourself, even when you aren’t quite sure who you are. Or, who you could be. With an impressive four out of four stars from the Chicago Tribune, this play is not to be missed.

//The Wolves closes on March 18th. Tickets for the Goodman Theatre may be found here//

HENRY TAYLOR: THE ART OF EMPATHY

5 March 2018

Speaking to a standing room-only crowd at the Society for Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago (SCA), the critically renowned Henry Taylor jocularly reminisced about the various subjects of his paintings.

Chuckling slightly when his slideshow of works brought up a complex layered image of a man resting in a chair with his head leaning slightly backward, Taylor noted, “I painted this one when my brother came over to my house and fell asleep in my chair.” True to his words, the painting evokes a warm sense of the familiar in the way only Taylor can achieve; slight abstractions of shapes so common and close draped in warm darker tones which seemingly depict the universal in the specific.

Self portrait of Henry Taylor with his brother and son
Self portrait of Taylor with his brother and son

Taylor advanced the slide show to reveal stark black figures cloaked in white, assembled in a group around the rough shape of a car. He quickly clicked to the next image, a photograph of what appeared to be the same scene. Shifting between the two images, Taylor commented on how working from photographs can take so much longer than working from live models, “A painting that would take me two hours with a live model might take me ten with a photograph, and I’ll likely still be unhappy with the result.”

Portrait of Henry Taylor by Lucas Celler[i]
Portrait of Henry Taylor by Lucas Celler [i]

As one might guess, Taylor is a deeply empathetic man whose concern for his fellow humans is palpable in both his speech and his work. In a press release for his show at Carlos/Ishikawa, London, Taylor said that he tries to paint everyone, “I try to capture the moment I am with someone who could be my friend, a neighbor, a celebrity, or a homeless person.”[ii]

Remarkably, Taylor’s strokes have found a way to convey his deep empathy in an immediately aesthetic fashion. His unique style and profoundly evocative paintings have led to a mid-career retrospective at MoMA PS1, as well as many to solo and group shows across the world [iii], including participating in last year’s Whitney Biennial. After decades of practicing as an artist, Taylor is, at long last, receiving his due.  

HENRY TAYLOR CONTEMPORARY PAINTER

The Society for Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago (SCA) was founded in 1940 with the intention of promoting a deeper understanding of the art that defines our expanding culture and world. Monthly programs such as this event offer aesthetically minded individuals like those of 1000M the opportunity to hear artists from across the world discuss their work. Members of the SCA also participate in the process of acquiring new work for the Art Institute. More information on membership levels and SCA as an organization may be found here.

 

[i] https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/magazine/henry-taylor-where-the-streets-have-a-name/

[ii] http://www.contemporaryartdaily.com/2015/09/henry-taylor-at-carlosishikawa/

[iii] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Taylor_(artist)