Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610
Telephone: 312.787.4071


Whitney Johnson
Feb 22, 2020 (8pm)

RSVP required

Tonight Whitney Johnson (aka Matchess) premieres Huizkol for viola, tuning forks and electronic instruments. The new work is an opportunity to engage with our own skepticism and belief in the effects of sound on the body.

Huizkol proceeds in seven small movements, or what Johnson calls “updrafts,” introducing sonic disequilibrium into the quad space of Madlener House. Low binaural sine waves rise and fall, tuning forks beat symmetrically (performed by forkists Kalina Malyszko and Havadine Stone), organ builds cluster chords, and tape-layered viola just intones. A VHS projection of colored light follows the same frequency arc as the sound.

Johnson finds inspiration and her title in the poetry of Anne Carson. She explains:

“In ‘The Wolf God,’ Carson consults with a community of women about the plight of lupine ears. Although wolves’ hearing is sharp enough to sense a cloud passing overhead, sometimes the wind will blow a seed into the aural canal. Losing equilibrium, mortal wolves go mad trying to stand upright; they die of anger. Only one—Huizkol—learned to survive disequilibrium.”

He took small steps at first.

Using the updrafts.

They called him Huizkol,

Whitney Johnson (b.1981, Clearfield, Penn.) is a musician, composer and writer living in Chicago. She performs with the viola, as well as combo organ, electronics and voice. As Matchess, she interprets the unknown with sound. Her techniques reproduce meaning through a range of historical material processes, including reel-to-reel tape looping, cassette tape sampling and field recording. In the Matchess Trilogy (2013-2018), Johnson used the limited palette of a 1960s Ace Tone combo organ, an analog Rhythm Ace drum machine, viola and voice to craft a sound collage of transient songs on a bed of ambient noise. She has recently collaborated in improvised and composed settings with Circuit des Yeux, TALsounds, Brett Naucke, Gel Set, Lia Kohl, Macie Stewart, Matt Jencik, Couteau Sang, Lea Bertucci and Sarah Davachi. In tandem with her music practice, she received her doctorate in the sociology of sound from the University of Chicago in 2018, writing a dissertation on the cultural value of embodied sensory perception, particularly in the discipline of sound art.

Whitney Johnson’s first Lampo appearance was in April 2018 with Sarah Davachi.

Since 2010 the Graham Foundation has supported and partnered with Lampo to produce this performance series held at the Madlener House. Lampo, founded in 1997, is a non-profit organization for experimental music and intermedia projects.

Artist Talk: Johnson discusses her new and recent works Huizkol (2020) and Fundamental 256 Hz (2019) and the limits of sound healing. She also reviews other examples of sound and its purported effects on the body. For instance, brainwave entrainment techniques claim to coax the mind into states of awareness through exposure to binaural beats. At the extreme, in 1936 American inventor Royal Raymond Rife maintained his beam ray clinical instruments would explode the “BX Virus Carcinoma” and other pathogens by producing resonant frequencies at their “Mortally Oscillating Rates.” Johnson extends the talk to her experience working at La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela’s Dream House in New York City. Lampo Annex, Monadnock Building, 53 W. Jackson Blvd. #1656. Friday, February 21, 6pm. RSVP HERE.

Image: Courtesy the artist. Photo: Alison Green



Casting Lessons
Joshua G. Stein
Mar 05, 2020 (6pm)

Please RSVP

As the once distant concerns of extraction and scarcity become more immediate, a direct engagement with the unruly behavior and associative potential of base materials can offer architects a training ground for addressing these same issues at larger scales. Joshua G. Stein will present his research on casting techniques and the recuperation of traditional craft into architectural digital fabrication: “Casting Lessons” will examine how material technique might offer methods for grounding the often disembodied discussions around digital form making, historical style, and urban datasacapes.

Joshua G. Stein is the founder of Radical Craft and the codirector of the Data Clay Network (, a forum for the exploration of digital techniques applied to ceramic materials. Radical Craft ( is a Los Angeles-based studio that advances an experimental art and design practice saturated in history, archaeology, and craft. Stein is author of Trajan’s Hollow (ORO Editions, 2019), which examines the role of craft and reproduction in the era of digital scanning and fabrication. He is Professor of Architecture at Woodbury University where he also directs the Institute of Material Ecologies (T-IME). He is the 2019–20 Mitchell Visiting Professor of Architecture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Image: Installation view of "Trajan’s Hollow," American Academy in Rome, 2011. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Michael J. Waters

For more information on the exhibition, Poured Architecture: Sergio Prego on Miguel Fisac , click here.



Craig Buckley
Mar 12, 2020 (6pm)

Please RSVP

Sergio Prego's recent work offers an opportunity to revisit the complex historical lineage of pneumatics in architecture and to consider the changing aesthetic and political stakes of plasticity within our contemporary "art-architecture complex.”

Craig Buckley is an Assistant Professor of modern and contemporary architecture in Department of the History of Art at Yale University. He is the author, most recently, of Graphic Assembly: Montage, Media, and Experimental Architecture in the 1960s (University of Minnesota Press, 2019).

Image: Members of the Utopie group testing inflatable structure for the film, "l’Ecume des jours," (dir. Charles Belmont) Paris, 1967. Copyright Jean-Paul Jungmann.


For more information on the exhibition, Poured Architecture: Sergio Prego on Miguel Fisac , click here.



Gloria Moure
Apr 23, 2020 (6pm)

RSVP coming soon

Join us for a talk by Spanish art historian, curator, and critic Gloria Moure as she discusses the resonance between the practices of artists Vito Acconci and Sergio Prego.

Gloria Moure holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Barcelona. In 1984, she organized the first retrospective on Marcel Duchamp in Spain at the Fundació La Caixa. She has served as director of the Fundació Espai Poblenou in Barcelona and the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea where she organized major retrospectives on Dan Graham, Vito Acconci, Medardo Rosso, Ana Mendieta, Félix Gonzalez-Torres, Giovanni Anselmo and Christian Boltanski, and special projects of Anish Kapoor and Juan Muñoz, among others. Currently, she directs the “20_21 Collection” at the Catalonian publishing house Ediciones Polígrafa, a series of monographs dedicated to contemporary artists.

Image: Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York, designed by Vito Acconci and Steven Holl, 1993

For more information on the exhibition, Poured Architecture: Sergio Prego on Miguel Fisac , click here.




Poured Architecture: Sergio Prego on Miguel Fisac Opening Reception
Sergio Prego with Patxi Eguíluz, Carlos Copertone, and Iker Gil
Feb 11, 2020 (5:30pm)
Opening Reception

Please RSVP

5:30 p.m. Comments by artist Sergio Prego with curators Patxi Eguíluz, Carlos Copertone, and Iker Gil

6:00–8:00 p.m. Opening reception

Please join us for a reception and introductory remarks to celebrate the opening of our winter exhibition Poured Architecture: Sergio Prego on Miguel Fisac.

The exhibition Poured Architecture establishes a dialogue between the late Spanish architect Miguel Fisac and the contemporary work of the Basque-born, Brooklyn-based artist Sergio Prego. Through a new body of work supported by a Graham Foundation Fellowship, Prego explores the possibility and synchronicity of materials and processes across architecture and visual art in a new series of sculptures and drawings inspired by Fisac’s innovative architecture and construction techniques. Here, Prego plays with scale and texture and creates his pneumatic and concrete structures within the context of Fisac’s methodology—chiefly arquitectura vertida (poured architecture), the patented cast concrete system that Fisac created. Drawings by Prego, displayed alongside facsimiles of material culled from Fisac’s archive, further illustrate the confluence of the two practices that both employ themes of material fluidity and malleability and investigate using materials such as plastic, concrete, and aluminum. This exhibition invites a multifaceted conversation about architectural imagination, experimentation, and material expression.

Sergio Prego (b.1969) is a Basque artist, part of the experimental 1990s Artelekuproject in San Sebastián, and is currently based in Brooklyn. His mainly sculptural practice embraces a sensitive approach to materials and technical strategies while maintaining the presence of the hand of the artist. Among his most celebrated projects are Primer Proformaat the MUSAC in León (2010) together with the artists Txomin Badiola and Jon Mikel Euba, the experimental pedagogical project Kalostra(2015) in San Sebastián, and the Spanish Pavilion of the Venice Biennale (2019) with the artist Itziar Okariz.

Miguel Fisac (1913–2006) was a key figure in Spanish architecture of the second half of the twentieth century and his works contributed to the modernization of architecture in Spain. He graduated from the School of Architecture of Madrid in 1942, and his first work, the Church of the Holy Spirit, was completed that same year. He was awarded the Gold Medal for Spanish Architecture (1994) and the National Architecture Award (2002).

Carlos Copertone received his PhD from the University of Extremadura, specializing in urbanism and regional planning. He is an editor of books on art and architecture at Caniche Editorial and has curated and developed several exhibitions, programs, and projects with Spanish cultural organizations. Copertone has lectured extensively in Spain and abroad and has been published in MAS Context, Openhouse, and Architectural Digest.

Patxi Eguíluz is an architect, curator, researcher, and critic focused on construction and urbanism. He is an editor of books on art and architecture at Caniche Editorial and has curated several exhibitions and developed projects at various institutions across Spain. His writing has been published in MAS Context, Openhouse, and Architectural Digest.

Iker Gil is an architect and director of MAS Studio, an architecture and urban design firm based in Chicago. He is also the editor-in-chief of the journal MAS Context and editor of the book Shanghai Transforming (ACTAR, 2008). He has curated exhibitions for the Chicago Architecture Biennial and the US Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale. Additionally, he is the executive director of the SOM Foundation and teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Image: Detail of the facade of Iglesia de Nustra Señora del Carmelo (Church of Our Lady Flor del Carmelo), Madrid, designed by Miguel Fisac, 1983. Photo: Carlos Copertone

For more information on the exhibition, Poured Architecture: Sergio Prego on Miguel Fisac , click here.


Unless otherwise noted,
all events take place at:

Madlener House
4 West Burton Place, Chicago


Wednesday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
and by appointment


Directions to Madlener House


Events are held in the ballroom on the third floor which is only accessible by stairs.
The first floor of the Madlener House is accessible via an outdoor lift. Please call 312.787.4071 to make arrangements.