Living Architecture is a large-scale, multidisciplinary exhibition, with public programming including performances, tours, workshops, and conversational dinners that highlight the influence and impact of immigrant artists on Chicago. The exhibition responds to the current political climate to highlight how Chicago was built with immigrant labor, particularly in the arts, and is continuously shaped today by exemplary immigrant artists. With over 30 contemporary artists, Living Architecture illustrates a living and evolving legacy between past and present Chicago immigrants’ work in art and design.
Artists include: Kioto Aoki, Amanda Assaley and Qais Assali, Yesenia Bello, Richard Bock, Irina Botea, Yvette Brackman, Tom Burtonwood, Verónica Casado Hernández, Derek Chan, Eugenia Cheng, Julietta Cheung, Michal Dzitko, William Estrada, Óscar I González Díaz, Daniel Haddad, Lise Haller Baggesen, Aram Han Sifuentes, Mark Jeffery, Soohyun Kim, Rodrigo Lara Zendejas, Benjamin Larose, Kirsten Leenaars, Frances Lightbound, Wen Liu, Ivan LOZANO, Luftwerk, Sheika Lugtu, Carlos Matallana, Esperanza Mayobre, Yvette Mayorga, Harold Mendez, Patricia Nguyen with Axis Lab, Julie Oh, Claes Oldenburg, Sherwin Ovid, Roni Packer, Emilio Rojas, Carlos Salazar Lermont, Leonard Suryajaya, Maryam Taghavi, Jan Tichy, Orkideh Torabi, Andrew Yang, Ji Yang, and others.
Since labor is often at the center of issues surrounding immigration, the exhibition opens on Labor Day, September 3. So that the house embodies the artistic process as a living architecture of labor, in July and August the artists will use 6018North as a studio, open on the weekend to the public and by appointment. On four evenings – July 16, July 30, August 13, August 27 – the public is also invited to Working Studios, collaborative events where artists engage the public in their work as process-based, communal initiatives. Working Studios are on Mondays, often thought of as the first work day of the week. We invite you to join us.
The title Living Architecture is from a book written by architect Arthur Woltersdorf in 1930. Woltersdorf was a first generation German-American, and a President of the Chicago Chapter of American Institute of Architects. Max Eberhardt, a German immigrant lawyer who advocated for immigrant rights, hired Woltersdorf to design his home at 6018 North Kenmore Avenue. Woltersdorf often commissioned German immigrant Richard Bock to design the bas-relief sculptures that grace his building’s façades. Living Architecture brings new light to Richard Bock’s work, prominent at Tree Studios and many of Frank Lloyd Wright’s buildings.
Because each artist is encouraged to draw on Richard Bock’s work, the 6018North building, and/or the work of former Chicago immigrant artists, Living Architecture looks backwards and forwards to ask vital questions about how we remember immigrant creativity to envision a new future. Using historical research, contemporary art practices, performance, and social engagement, artists reveal the central and defining role of immigrants in shaping and advancing Chicago’s art and design. Living Architecture is part of Art Design Chicago, a citywide initiative highlighting lesser-known narratives of ingenuity and perseverance, addressing artistic movements as well as the work of individual artists, including the role of immigrant communities in Chicago’s development and legacy.
Free public tours – walking and by trolley – occur at historic sites around the City including Jane Adam Hull House, Tree Studios, and At Home in Chicago house museums to highlight Richard Bock’s work and other immigrants’ contribution to Chicago design. Tours include performances of music and dance by immigrant and first generation artists to breathe life into historic houses with contemporary innovation. These aim to upend narrow ideas of cultural heritage and national identity which often leave out the immigrants who built and worked in these homes.
The first off-site program is at Tree Studios on Saturday morning, July 28. Tree Studios was built by Arthur Woltersdorf, with relief sculptures by Richard Bock. To highlight Bock’s designs: Tom Burtonwood presents a performative maker-space, Dr. Sharon Grimes of the Richard W. Bock Sculpture Museum discusses Bock’s work, and Carlos Salazar Lermont presents a performance. Additional summer tours will be announced in the near future.
Living Architecture is part of Art Design Chicago, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art exploring Chicago’s art and design legacy, with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.
Living Architecture is funded by the Terra Foundation.
Living Architecture is co-curated by Teresa Silva and Tricia Van Eck. A variation of Living Architecture will travel to the Chicago Cultural Center in Fall 2019.
About Art Design Chicago
Art Design Chicago is a spirited celebration of the unique and vital role Chicago plays as America’s crossroads of creativity and commerce. Spearheaded by the Terra Foundation for American Art, this citywide partnership of more than 75 cultural organizations explores Chicago’s art and design legacy and continued impact with more than 30 exhibitions, hundreds of events, as well as the creation of several scholarly publications and a four-part documentary presented throughout 2018.
Support for Art Design Chicago is provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art and Presenting Partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. Additional funding for the initiative is provided by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Joyce Foundation. The Chicago Community Trust, Leo Burnett, Polk Bros. Foundation, and EXPO CHICAGO are providing in-kind support.
6018North Summer Open Hours: Saturdays and Sundays beginning July 14 // 12-5PM
Working Studios: Mondays – July 16, July 30, August 13, August 27 // 7-9 PM
Tour and Performance at Tree Studios: Saturday, July 28 // 10:30AM-12PM