The recent Donors’ Circle trip to EXPO Chicago was inspiring and stimulating. It was quite extraordinary to get personal home tours from esteemed art collectors, private viewings of new gallery exhibitions, invitation-only after parties and all the contemporary art Chicago’s Navy Pier could handle.
A group of about fifteen members of the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft Donor’s Circle ventured north for a fast-paced weekend in the Windy City. Upon our return, we feel briefly sated with new and familiar works of contemporary art. This “food” will keep our minds and imaginations energized until our next trip, to Art Basel Miami! Here are a few morsels from our trip for your delectation:
The Donor’s Circle dined on a hearty breakfast on the patio at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Downstairs, we enjoyed a photo show from the museum’s collection. Upstairs, the MCA showcases a retrospective by Chicago-born cartoonist Daniel Clowes. On the third floor, an exhibition of installations called Homebodies features a walk-through Victorian house fabricated in nylon by Do Ho Suh. The Donor’s Circle took particular note of constructions and video by Chicago resident Theaster Gates, as we recently exhibited one of Gates’ shoe-shine stands at KMAC during the Storytelling as Craft. Next we visited the private Collection of Howard and Donna Stone, which centers around 60s and 70s Minimalist and Conceptualist work, including: a double-portrait wall drawing by Jim Hodges, pieces made of yarn and elastic thread by Fred Sandbach, a candy pile by Felix Gonzalez-Torres, and an installation by Sarah Sze. We spent the rest of the afternoon strolling through Chicago EXPO, on the Navy Pier viewing works by established artists like Fred Tomaselli and Leon Ferrari and site specific ampersands by emerging artist Karl Haendel. Some revelers continued on to Late Night at the Wright Auction House.
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We finished our Chicago weekend with a brunch at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, where we saw Spencer Finch’s color-swatch watercolor paintings and light boxes and took in Judy Ledgerwood’s dense oil paintings.
Many thanks go to the collectors, curators, and gallerists who shared their gracious hospitality. Even greater thanks to KMAC Director Aldy Milliken and Development Director Angela Hagan for their tireless efforts of organizing the trip and shepherding the members of the Donor’s Circle around the city. We hope that you will join the KMAC Donor’s Circle on another of these intellectually invigorating art outings!