Nov 8th 2018

UChicago Arts and the Department of Art History present a two-part afternoon lecture series investigating public art in Chicago and the works of Italian-born, Chicago-based sculptor Virginio Ferrari.

This event is free and open to the public.


About the Program:

As part of the Terra Foundation’s 2018 Art Design Chicago initiative, UChicago Arts’ Public Art Program presents Dialogo: Virginio Ferrari and Chicago, a series of public events with internationally-recognized Italian sculptor Virginio Ferrari (b. 1937), whose practice has been deeply embedded in Chicago’s art world since he made this city his home in the mid-1960s. Following the launch of Ferrari’s new monograph, Virginio Ferrari: Full Circle 1957-2017, at Humanities Day (October 21, 2017), Dialogo: Virginio Ferrari and Chicago will expand on that conversation with public tours and talks, K-12 programming, and opportunities to experience some of Ferrari’s lesser known or privately-held works.

About Virginio Ferrari:

Virginio Ferrari’s connection to Chicago’s rich history of art and design is represented in more than thirty works around the city, with many more sculptures in Illinois, the U.S., and around the globe. These myriad works link his practice both to the national art world in cities like Philadelphia and Los Angeles, as well as to the international art world in cities like Belgium, Ecuador, China, and his native Italy. His practice is representative of the work of his contemporaries within and around buildings in the 20th century, and can serve as a gateway to a broader understanding of the history of public art in relation to architecturally-defined spaces.


Erika Doss, professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame, presents her talk titled “Ferrari in Chicago: Public Art and Public Response,” exploring the public response to public art in Chicago. The talk contextualizes Ferrari’s sculptures and those by his contemporaries in light of American ambivalence towards the removal and/or relocation of public art.

Alex J. Taylor, Assistant Professor and Academic Curator at the University of Pittsburgh, presents “Taking Flight: Virginio Ferrari and the Jet Age” using Ferrari’s Volo Tragico series (1963-4) as a departure point to investigate the transatlantic contexts for Ferrari’s early work and its position within a post-war sculptural idiom preoccupied by the experience of flight.

About Art Design Chicago:

Art Design Chicago is a spirited celebration of the unique and vital role Chicago plays as America’s crossroads of art and design, creativity and commerce. With a scope and ambition befitting Chicago’s grit and can-do determination, Art Design Chicago shares with the world a dynamic convergence of more than 25 exhibitions and hundreds of public programs in 2018. Together, they tell the stories of the artists and designers that defined and continue to propel Chicago’s role as a hub of imagination and impact.


IMAGE: Virginio Ferrari, Volo Tragico, 1963.

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