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


Allan Wexler, Sheathing the Rift, 2014, hand-worked inkjet on panel, 64 x 80 inches

Absurd Thinking: Between Art and Design
Allan Wexler
Nov 30, 2017 (6pm)

Please RSVP

Architect, artist, and designer Allan Wexler discusses his multi-scalar, multi-media work across a 45-year career. Allan reveals a curious, comedic, and analytical mind, offering new strategies for examining and reevaluating basic assumptions about our relationship to the built and natural environments.

Wexler's work mediates the gap between fine and applied art. Sometimes functional—tangible and tactical—sometimes theoretical, his work is often a hybrid of function and theory. In all cases, it demonstrates a commitment to reevaluating basic assumptions about what we thought we knew. Wexler's art can be broadly described as tactile poetry that is composed by reframing the ordinary with intent to sustain a narrative about landscape, nature, and architecture.

The lecture coincides with the publication of Absurd Thinking, Between Art and Design, a new monograph edited by Ashley Simone and published by Lars Müller Publishers with support from the Graham Foundation.

Allan Wexler works in the fields of architecture, design, and fine art. He is represented by the Ronald Feldman Gallery in New York City and has exhibits, teaches, and lectures internationally. Wexler teaches at Parsons School of Design in New York City. Wexler is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (2016), a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, and a winner of both a Chrysler Award for Design Innovation, and the Henry J. Leir Prize from the Jewish Museum. He has had numerous national and international solo exhibitions, has lectured on his work internationally, and has been reviewed by major art and architecture publications. The subject of Wexler's work is the built environment. He creates drawings, multimedia objects, images, and installations that alter perceptions of domestic activities. He investigates eating, bathing, sitting, and socializing, and turns these everyday activities into ritual and theater.

Related Graham Foundation supported projects:

2016 Publication Grant to Allan Wexler for Absurd Thinking: Between Art and Design



Postcommodity, Repellent Fence, 2015, near Douglas, AZ and Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico. Photo: Michael Lundgren; Courtesy of the artists

POSTPONED-Through the Repellent Fence: A Land Art Film

Please note: the screening of Through the Repellent Fence: A Land Art Film will no longer take place on September 20 and will be rescheduled for a date later this fall.

The Graham Foundation is pleased to present a screening of Through the Repellent Fence. This Graham funded film follows art collective Postcommodity as they construct Repellent Fence, a two-mile long outdoor artwork that straddled the US-Mexico border. Postcommodity consists of three Native American artists who put land art in a tribal context. In 2015, the artists worked with communities on both sides of the border to install a series of 28 huge inflatable spheres emblazoned with an insignia known as the “open eye” that has existed in indigenous cultures from South America to Canada for thousands of years. The artwork crossed the border a mile in each direction and symbolized a suture stitching back together cultures that have inhabited the land long before borders were drawn.

Related Graham Foundation supported projects:

2013 Film Grant to Samuel Wainwright Douglas for Through The Repellent Fence: A Land Art Film




Lampo Performance Series
Sep 16, 2017 (8pm)

Reservations are required

LoVid presents Mesh Extenders, a group of interconnected compositions made for their handmade analog synthesizers along with video—new work that constructs landscapes between virtuality, abstraction, and documentation of daily life.

The art duo’s A/V performances are live, immersive, visceral, audiovisual noise. Their synthesizers are designed to continue the legacy of artist-made tools. LoVid’s approach to instrument building is an exploration of the relationship between craft and engineering, embracing and integrating fragilities of analog systems into the instruments’ design, and audiovisual compositions. Aesthetically, the instruments are sculptural combinations of circuits, wires, and textiles. Combining material and media sheds light on handmade DIY technological tools that expand on the relationship between the human body and technological development as part of the artists’ practice.

Tali Hinkis (b.1974, Jerusalem, Israel) and Kyle Lapidus (b.1975, New York, N.Y.) have worked together as LoVid since 2001. Their work includes immersive installations, sculptural synthesizers, single channel videos, textile, participatory projects, mobile media cinema, works on paper, and A/V performance. Projects have been presented at ISSUE Project Room, New York; The Jewish Museum, New York; The Neuberger Museum, Purchase, New York; The New Museum, New York CAM Raleigh, North Carolina; Hors Pistes Tokyo Daejeon Museum of Art, Korea; Netherlands Media Art Institute; and ICA, London; among many others. LoVid has performed and presented works at The Kitchen, MoMA, PS1 and The Museum of the Moving Image, all in New York; Lampo, Chicago, International Film Festival Rotterdam, The Netherlands; CCA (Israel) and FACT (Liverpool). They have received support from several organizations and foundations. LoVid’s video works are distributed through Electronic Arts Intermix.

LoVid last appeared at Lampo in December 2010. They premiered C/O/L/O/R/G/B, performing with a new synthesizer color wheel. In Becoming One.2, LoVid invited guests to contribute body signals that were amplified by the duo’s circuit tacos.

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. Additional support is provided by mediaThe foundation inc.; organized in cooperation with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Department of Art and Technology Studies and Department of Performance.

Related Graham Foundation supported projects:
2013 New Media Grant to LoVid for iParade (Chicago)
2016 New Media Grant to LoVid for iParade (Chicago)



David Hartt, still from “in the forest,” 2017. 4K Digital Video File, color, sound; 20 min. Courtesy of Corbett vs. Dempsey and commissioned by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

'in the forest' Opening Reception
David Hartt
Sep 14, 2017 (6pm)
Opening Reception
Graham Foundation

Please RSVP

Join us for a reception to celebrate the opening of in the forest, an immersive installation by artist David Hartt that revisits architect Moshe Safdie’s unfinished 1968 Habitat Puerto Rico project through a contemporary lens. Consisting of a newly commissioned film, a suite of photographs, and a series of sculptures, the exhibition continues Hartt’s investigation into the relationship between ideology, architecture, and the environment.

6-8:00 p.m. Opening Reception

6:00 p.m. Comments by David Hartt with Graham Foundation director Sarah Herda

For more information on the exhibition, in the forest, click here.



"Still Move," performance stills taken at Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Canada, 2015. Courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago. Photo: Rod Leland Photography

Lost Bodies and Still Move
Brendan Fernandes
May 25, 2017 (6pm)
Book Launch

Please RSVP

Join us for the Chicago launch of Lost Bodies and Still Move, two new monographs on the work of artist Brendan Fernandes. David Getsy and Zach Stafford will join Fernandes in a conversation about his recent work. A book signing and reception will follow the discussion.

In his multimedia practice, Brendan Fernandes addresses a wide range of questions surrounding identity and expression, including the concept of queer bodies, the history of ballet as a cultural signifier—particularly in juxtaposition to African modes of visual and ritual art—and, more recently, the dance floor as a sacred space of freedom. Lost Bodies (Agnes Etherton Art Centre, Queen’s University, ON, 2016) and Still Move (Black Dog Press, London, 2017) explore these themes in depth.

Brendan Fernandes (b. 1979, Nairobi, Kenya, lives and works in Chicago) is a Canadian artist of Kenyan and Indian descent. He completed the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art (2007) and earned his MFA from the University of Western Ontario (2005) and his BFA from York University in Canada (2002). Fernandes has exhibited widely domestically and abroad, including exhibitions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Art and Design, New York; Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal; The National Gallery of Canada, Ontario; The Brooklyn Museum, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA: The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA; Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin; Bergen Kunsthall, Norway; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; The Sculpture Center, New York; The Quebec City Biennial; the Third Guangzhou Triennial in China; and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago.

Upcoming projects include a performance of Free Fall at The Getty, Los Angeles (June); a residency at Recess, New York (July); and a solo exhibition at Aljira Center for Contemporary Art, Newark, NJ(fall 2017). He is currently Artist in Residence and Faculty at Northwestern University in the Department of Art Theory and Practice, and is represented by Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago.

David J. Getsy is the Goldabelle McComb Finn Distinguished Professor of Art History at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  He has published seven books, most recently Abstract Bodies: Sixties Sculpture in the Expanded Field of Gender (Yale University Press, 2015) and the anthology of artists’ writings, Queer (MIT Press, 2016), which is a 2017 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist.  He writes about histories of art and performance with an emphasis on queer and transgender topics and methods in modern and contemporary art, and his current projects pursue archive-based recoveries of forgotten queer and genderqueer performance practices in late-twentieth-century America.

Zach Stafford is the editor at large of Out Magazine and a contributing writer for The Guardian where he covers justice, violence and social issues. He regularly provides commentary on radio, podcasts, and has appeared on the BBC, CNN, and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Zach is also the co-editor of the bestselling book Boys, An Anthology (2013), and is currently touring his photo-essay project, When Dogs Heal, which explores the lives of HIV+ people and the pets that saved their lives.


Unless otherwise noted,
all events take place at:

Madlener House
4 West Burton Place, Chicago

Wednesday through Saturday, 11a.m.6 p.m.

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.