The Arts Club of Chicago at 100: Centennial Open House

Event Date: October 22
Time: Noon - 5 pm
Location: The Arts Club of Chicago, 201 E. Ontario Street



The Arts Club of Chicago

Centennial Open House

October 22, 2016

Noon to 5:00 pm


A Celebration of World-Class Music and Art
The Arts Club of Chicago is proud to celebrate 100 years of contributions to modern arts and culture, and welcomes the public to join us in our special Centennial presentation. An afternoon of music and art features Grammy award-winning sextet Eighth Blackbird performing a special commissioned piece, Composition as Explanation, by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang. Artists from Chicago and around the world will be engaged in discussions and performances. The entire building, including the usually private upstairs salon and dining room, will be open to the public. The permanent collection will be on view in the downstairs gallery. Visitors will be able to view special loans in the salon from artists who have previously exhibited at the Club.
Please see the list of all artists and performers below.


Centennial composition performance:

composed by David Lang

performed by Eighth Blackbird

David Lang premieres Composition as Explanation, a work based on Gertrude Stein’s 1925 text, which explores the notion of the artist’s talk in tribute to The Arts Club’s legacy of cultural conversations. The piece will be manifested in performances scattered throughout the day and throughout the building by Eighth Blackbird and will be complemented by live presentations that similarly consider what it means for artists to discuss their work in person.


Artist performances, talks, and installations by:

Derrick Adams Passing Time. Within the Arts Club exhibition space, multidisciplinary artist Derrick Adams constructs a lounge environment, equipped with the essential components of a domestic living room environment.  Visitors are invited to sit casually and flip through Arts Club archives of artist and exhibition catalogs, mapping the history of the organization.  Visitors are further encouraged to participate in informal conversations taking place within the installation, while Adams spins vinyl records of music from the past and present from turntables stationed on the coffee table, or just relax for a moment and pass time.

Suzanne Bocanegra with Paul Lazar, When a Priest Marries a Witch, an Artist Lecture by Suzanne Bocanegra Starring Paul Lazar In 2010, Bocanegra was asked by the Museum of Modern Art to give a lecture about her work.  For that lecture, she made a theater piece in which Paul Lazar, actor and co-founder and director of Big Dance Theater, performs as Bocanegra, telling the story of how she became an artist, growing up in Pasadena, Texas. Part personal narrative, part cultural history, the piece focuses on a scandal that happened in her Catholic church.  Spectators hear both Lazar and Bocanegra’s voice, as together they tell a tale about identity, artistic expression, the Pope, and obviously, a witch.

Mark Dion In a lecture, compellingly illustrated by film strip, the earth’s 4.5 billion years is recounted. The presentation illuminates the geological and biological history of our planet leading up to birth, work and death of eminent Earth Works artist, Robert Smithson.

Irena Haiduk presents Bon Ton Mais Non, the first step in surrounding yourself with things in the right way. 

Pablo Helguera, 10 New Kindergarten Chats (after Mr. Sullivan) In about 1918, Louis Sullivan published a book entitled Kindergarten Chats, which outlined his philosophy of design and architecture. Helguera presents a reprise of these short texts for the 21st century that depart from the ideas originally discussed by Sullivan.

Geof Oppenheimer Using images and texts, Oppenheimer delves into the Arts Club’s archive to present a social and psychic bricolage that explores and reimagines the Club’s history of creative liberty, class construction, and desire for social change.

Walid Raad contributes stories and documents.  Some are included in the catalog.  Others are on display in The Art Club’s restrooms.

Edra Soto Manual GRAFT Iron rejas became ubiquitous in the architecture of post-war Puerto Rico due to the security they provided and their ability to allow for cross ventilation. Today, these iron rejas are viewed not so much as a protection device, but as a language that pertains to the island’s visual culture. As part of an ongoing exploration of these design elements, Edra Soto presents Manual GRAFT, an architectural intervention that arrives via performative gestures and a process-based experience that unfolds in front of the viewers, unveiling the artistic process. Soto will install a related pattern on the glass walls that enclose The Arts Club’s famous Mies van der Rohe staircase.


The Arts Club of Chicago

201 E Ontario St.

Chicago, IL 60611

(312) 787-3997


Posted August 15, 2016
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