Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity


I recently visited the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago to experience the Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity exhibit. I admit, I love cities, and I find energy and connection in these towers that reach toward the sky. There were interesting and challenging works on display. I enjoyed the interpretive and expressive nature of the art which often brought a smile to my face, as it explored the many ways we connect to, and are influenced by these powerful structures. Thought provoking and sculptural, the exhibit includes many mediums. One of my favorites below, a series of refrigerators faced with mirrored facets, create a reflective and luminous play on scale.  Two very different interpretations of Bertrand Goldberg’s Marina Towers Buildings in Chicago above, convey the exhibits diverse presentation. This exploration into the power of our built environment is worth the trip. If you aren’t able to visit in person, the following excerpts describe further the themes of the exhibit, which are expressed in each unique work.

‘The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago brings together 50 international 20th and 21st century artists for a show that investigates our enduring fascination with building into the sky. Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity presents a history of these iconic structures and their impact on our understanding of technology, society, and myth. The exhibition is divided into five themed sections. “Verticality” reflects the optimism of building upward and the pursuit of iconic form. “Personification of Architecture” juxtaposes human and architectural form, placing the body in terms of building and vice-versa. “Urban Critique” examines the effects of modern housing on its inhabitants and the dislocation and alienation that can result from architecture’s utopian impulse. “Improvisation” records occupants’ responses to their built environment and the ways they transform and humanize buildings. “Vulnerability of Icons” considers our changing relationship to tall buildings post-9/11.’  The architects newspaper

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.

Images and excerpts sourced at MCA Chicago

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