Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity


Kader Attia, Untitled (Skyline), 2007, Fridges painted and covered with small mirrors, Overall dimensions variable Photo: SCAD visual media department Courtesy of Fond National d'Art Contemporain, private collection, Galerie Christian Nagel, Galerie Krinzinger and Galleria Continua


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.