Chicago Avant-Garde: Five Women Ahead of Their Time, the Newberry Library’s fall exhibition, tells the story of five Chicago women who took radical risks in their lives and their art, transforming their city into a hub of avant-garde experimentation in the process. Featuring a range of items from the Newberry’s collections, the exhibition is accompanied by a catalog that includes more than 100 photographs, an essay by exhibition curator Liesl Olson, and new poems by Eve Ewing.
In this discussion, Olson will talk with the catalog’s designers—printmaker Ben Blount and artists Nadine Nakanishi and Nick Butcher of Sonnenzimmer—about the exhibition and how the catalog they created illuminates Chicago’s avant-garde dancers, writers, and artists, past and present.
To demonstrate and document their creative process, Sonnenzimmer and Blount are producing a special edition print. Broadsides will be available to visitors for takeaway.
Please note: This is an in-person event at the Newberry. Following guidelines from the Chicago Department of Public Health, masks are required for all attendees above the age of two, regardless of vaccination status.
Image: Ben Blount and Sonnenzimmer, Cover design for Chicago Avant-Garde: Five Women Ahead of Their Time, 2021.