Exhibitions

Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity

Images

  • A room is filled with many fridges of various sizes, each covered entirely by small mirrors.
  • An orange building beam lays in a room with a wooden floor and white walls.
Ziad Antar, Burj Khalifa Expired, 2010. Gelatin silver print; 49 ¼ x 49 ¼ in. (125 × 125 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Selma Feriani Gallery, London
A room is filled with many fridges of various sizes, each covered entirely by small mirrors.
Kader Attia, Untitled (Skyline), 2007. Fridges painted and covered with small mirrors; overall dimensions variable. Courtesy of Fond National d'Art Contemporain, private collection, Galerie Christian Nagel, Galerie Krinzinger and Galleria Continua
Photo: SCAD visual media department
Enoc Perez, Marina Towers, Chicago, 2011. Oil on canvas; 110 × 90 in. (279.4 × 228.6 cm). Collection of the artist, New York
Courtesy of the artist and Greene Naftali, New York
Erica Bohm, Houston Tower II (from the Cityscapes series), 2009. Digital photograph mounted on Plexiglas; 17 ¾ x 11 13/16 in. (45.1 × 30 cm)
Image courtesy of The Mission Projects
Jennifer Bolande, Appliance House, 1998–99. 2 Duratrans photos in light boxes, edition 1 of 3; 91 × 59 × 5 in. (231.1 × 149.9 × 12.7 cm). The Guthman Collection, Chicago
Image courtesy of the artist
Michael Wolf, Transparent City #6, 2007/08. Chromogenic development print, edition of 9, aside from 2 artist’s proofs; 62 × 48 in. (157.5 × 121.9 cm). Collection of Marilyn and Larry Fields, courtesy of Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco
Image courtesy of the artist and Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco
Shizuka Yokomizo, Stranger No. 5,1998. Chromogenic development print, edition 5 of 5; image: 31 1/8 × 31 1/8 in. (79 × 79 cm), framed: 42 ½ x 50 in. (108 × 127 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago
Image courtesy of Wako Works of Art, Tokyo
Jeff Carter, Untitled #3 (Chicago Tribune Tower), 2010. Modified IKEA products (laminated medium-density fiberboard, fiberboard, paper, aluminum), video monitor, electric stepper motor, microcontroller, electronics, and video loop; 96 × 32 × 62 in. (243.8 × 81.3 × 157.5 cm)
Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Valle Orti, Valencia
Wilfrid Almendra, Reconstruction of a Monument I, 2011. Aluminum, concrete, and glass; 90 9/16 × 44 ½ x 43 5/16 in. (230 × 113 × 110 cm). Bugada & Cargnel, Paris
Photo © Martin Argyroglo
Abelardo Morell, Camera Obscura Image of the Empire State Building in Bedroom, 1994. Gelatin silver print; 20 × 24 in. (50.8 × 61 cm). Bonni Benrubi Gallery, New York
Image courtesy of the artist and Bonni Benrubi Gallery, New York
Claes Oldenburg, Proposed Colossal Monument for Grant Park, Chicago: Windshield Wiper, 1967. Crayon and watercolor on paper; 14 × 17 in. (35.6 × 43.2 cm), framed: 22 1/8 × 19 5/8 in. (56.2 × 49.9 cm). Collection Susan and Larry Marx, Aspen, Colorado, courtesy of Neal Meltzer Fine Art, New York
© 1967 Claes Oldenburg, courtesy the Oldenburg van Bruggen Studio
Yin Xiuzhen, Portable City: Dunhuang, 2010. Suitcase, old clothes, magnifying glass, map, and sound element; closed: 11 × 30 13/16 × 33 7/16 in. (28 × 78.5 × 85 cm)
© Yin Xiuzhen, courtesy of The Pace Gallery, Beijing
Roe Ethridge, Tokyo 2, 2009. Chromogenic development print, edition of 5, aside from 2 artist’s proofs; 62 × 42 in. (157.5 × 106.7 cm)
Courtesy of the artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York
Fikret Atay, Tinica, 2004. Video (color, sound); 7 minutes, 32 seconds
Courtesy of Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris
Hans-Peter Feldmann, 9/12 Frontpage. Color prints of 151 newspapers; each: 23 ½ x 15 ¾ in. (59.7 × 40 cm). Exhibition copy, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin
Courtesy of 303 Gallery, New York
Jonathan Horowitz, Recycling Sculpture (World Trade Center Memorial), 2005. Blue tape and replenished newspapers, Edition of 3, aside from 2 artist’s proofs; 109 × 44 in. (276.9 × 111.8 cm)
© Jonathan Horowitz, courtesy of the artist and Gavin Brown’s enterprise
An orange building beam lays in a room with a wooden floor and white walls.
Tony Tasset, i-beam, 1996. Painted aluminum; 8 ¼ x 6 ½ x 144 in. (21 × 16.5 × 365.8 cm). Collection of Denis Weil, Chicago
Courtesy of Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago

About

Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity examines contemporary works of art that take as their subject the form, technology, myth, message, and image of that iconic building structure: the skyscraper. While the exhibition has particular relevance to Chicago—the city that is widely known as the birthplace of this architectural type—artists throughout the world, in addition to authors, filmmakers, poets, and undoubtedly architects, have been enthralled by the human desire to build farther and farther into the sky, testing technological limits while embodying a yearning for spiritual connection to the heavens. Artists’ endeavors to explore this desire have taken many forms, from video and film to sculpture, painting, and photography.

Skyscraper brings together a wide-ranging group of artists from around the world and across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries to explore this enduring fascination. The exhibition features the work of Fikret Atay, Jennifer Bolande, Roger Brown, Jeff Carter, Roe Ethridge, Jonathan Horowitz, Bodys Isek Kingelez, Jakob Kolding, Vera Lutter, Abelardo Morell, Eliza Myrie, Ahmet Ögüt , Claes Oldenburg, Gabriel Orozco, Enoc Perez, Monika Sosnowska, Thomas Struth, Jan Tichy, Andy Warhol, Peter Wegner, H. C. Westermann, Wesley Willis, Catherine Yass, and Shizuka Yokomizo, among others.

This exhibition is curated by MCA James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator Michael Darling and cocurated by MCA Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow Joanna Szupinska. A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

Installation Images

Installation view, Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity, MCA Chicago, Jun 30–Sep 23, 2012
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
Installation view, Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity, MCA Chicago, Jun 30–Sep 23, 2012
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
Installation view, Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity, MCA Chicago, Jun 30–Sep 23, 2012
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
Installation view, Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity, MCA Chicago, Jun 30–Sep 23, 2012
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
Installation view, Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity, MCA Chicago, Jun 30–Sep 23, 2012
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
Installation view, Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity, MCA Chicago, Jun 30–Sep 23, 2012
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
Installation view, Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity, MCA Chicago, Jun 30–Sep 23, 2012
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
Installation view, Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity, MCA Chicago, Jun 30–Sep 23, 2012
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
Installation view, Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity, MCA Chicago, Jun 30–Sep 23, 2012
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
Monika Sosnowska, The Fire Escape, 2012. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Commission; courtesy of the artist and Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne. Installation view, Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity, MCA Chicago, 2012
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Funding

Lead support for Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity is provided by the Harris Family Foundation in memory of Bette and Neison Harris: Caryn and King Harris, Katherine Harris, Toni and Ron Paul, Pam and Joe Szokol, Linda and Bill Friend, and Stephanie and John Harris. Major support is provided by Anne Kaplan. Additional generous support is provided by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts; Galerie Gisela Capitain Cologne; Jack and Sandra Guthman; Helmut and Deborah Jahn; the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; kamel mennour, Paris; Sara Szold; and U.S. Equities Realty, LLC.

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