An Art Design Chicago public program, October - December 2018

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.

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.


Interlocking: Models and Proposals by Virginio Ferrari 

Date: October 4, 2018 - December 14, 2018 

Exhibition Opening Reception: October 4, 20184-6 pm 

LocationCorvus Gallery, Laboratory Schools, 5815 South Kimbark Ave 

Hours: 9am – 4pm 

This exhibition surveys Ferrari’s models and drawings, revealing his experimental processes for producing large-scale public art. The relationship between two-dimensional works on paper and three-dimensional small-scale models clarifies his continued fascination with the translation of forms and the manipulation of space, and provides a fresh context for experiencing his public art around Chicago’s South Side. 

A note about the location: To view the exhibit outside of special events hours, please use the Kimbark entrance, and be prepared to submit a UChicago or government-issued ID. You will then be escorted to the gallery.

Dialogo Dialogo

Date: October 6, 2018 

Time2-3 pm 

Location: "DialogoVirginio Ferrari sculpture, 5828 S University Ave 

Irene Hsiao (dance) teams up with Joey Brink (carillon) to perform "Dialogo Dialogo," an improvisatory dance installation set to Brink's own compositions for carillon. Hsiao explores the relationship between the bronze Virginio Ferrari sculpture "Dialogo" and the bronze carillon bells.

The Lifespan of Public Art: Virginio Ferrari in Conversation with Andrei Pop 

Date: October 20, 2018  

Time: 3:30-4:30pm 

Location: Drama Studio, Gordon Parks Arts HallLaboratory Schools, 5815 South Kimbark Ave 

Join UChicago Arts for a conversation between Virginio Ferrari and art historian Andrei Pop on the classical tradition in sculpture and on the lifespan of public art, from conception to fruition to evolution. The conversation will be introduced and moderated by artist and entrepreneur John Kuhns (MFA ’75). This event is part of Humanities Day.  

Taking Flight: Erika Doss and Alex Taylor on Chicago Public Art and Virginio Ferrari 

Date: November 8, 2018 

Time: 5:00 pm 

Location: CWAC 1575540 S. Greenwood Avenue 

UChicago Arts and the Department of Art History present a duo of afternoon lectures by Erika Doss and Alex J. Taylor investigating twentieth century American art. Doss is a professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her talk, titled "Ferrari in Chicago: Public Art and Public Response," looks at public responses to public art in Chicago, and contextualizes sculptures by Virginio Ferrari and others in terms of ambivalent American attitudes regarding the permanence, removal, and relocation of public art. Taylor is Assistant Professor and Academic Curator at the University of Pittsburgh. His talk, titled "Taking Flight: Virginio Ferrari and the Jet Age," uses Ferrari's Volo Tragico series (1963-4) as a means to explore the transatlantic contexts for Ferrari's early work, and its position within a post-war sculptural idiom preoccupied by the experience of flight.  


Art Design Chicago on the South Side

South Side Stories: Rethinking Chicago Art, 1960-1980
Smart Museum/DuSable Museum

Art Speaks
University of Chicago Graham School

Centennial: A History of the Renaissance Society 1915-2015
The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago

Into the City: A History of Chicago Art
University of Chicago Press

Bill Walker: Urban Griot
Hyde Park Art Center