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


Brendan Fernandes: The Master and Form Installation in collaboration with Norman Kelley
JAN 25, 2018 - MAR 10, 2018

The Graham Foundation is pleased to present The Master and Form, a new installation and performance series by artist Brendan Fernandes that explores themes of mastery and discipline within the culture of ballet through the use of designed objects that enable dancers to perfect and extend iconic positions. The culmination of Fernandes’ fall 2017 performance artist residency at the Graham Foundation, the project engages the Foundation’s historic Madlener House and features collaborations with designers Norman Kelley and dancers from the Joffrey Academy of Dance.

Please join us for an opening reception on January 25, 2018 from 6–8 p.m. To rsvp, click here.

The Graham Foundation performance residency program invites practitioners working in a wide range of disciplines to expand architectural discourse and work directly with the physical spaces of the Foundation’s historic Madlener House. Now on its second year, Fernandes’ project follows Chicago-based ATOM-r’s development and presentation of Kjell Theøry during the fall of 2016.

Brendan Fernandes is a Chicago-based 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; and the Third Guangzhou Triennial in China. Additionally, Fernandes has been awarded many highly regarded residencies around the world. Recent exhibitions include Lost Bodies, which originated at Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, Ontario (2016) and traveled to the Textile Museum of Canada, Toronto (2017); and Free Fall, which originated at Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago (2017), and resulted in an expanded version of the performance, Free Fall 49, at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles in summer 2017. His recent monograph Still Move, was published by Black Dog Press, London, fall 2016. Upcoming solo projects include The High Line, New York (summer 2018), and DePaul University Art Museum (fall 2018). 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.

Norman Kelley, a New York and Chicago-based design collaborative, was founding by Carrie Norman and Thomas Kelley in 2012. Over the past five years, Norman Kelley’s work has sought to explore architecture and design’s limits between two- and three-dimensions. Results have varied in scale and medium, from object design to interiors. Along this spectrum, their work re-examines architecture and design’s relationship to vision, prompting its observers to see nuance in the familiar. The practice has contributed work to the 14th Venice Architecture Biennial (2014) and the first and second Chicago Architecture Biennials (2015, 2017). The practice was a recipient of the Architecture League of New York Young Architect’s Prize (2014). Their collection of American Windsor chairs is currently represented by Volume Gallery in Chicago.

The Joffrey Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, is committed to providing students of all ages, levels and backgrounds who have a desire to dance with a world-class education built on a foundation of classical ballet. With the talents cultivated at the Joffrey Academy, students can pursue careers as professional dancers at companies throughout the world, higher education opportunities in dance, or success in other fields. Through the Joffrey Academy’s programs, students develop a diverse set of skills including artistry, creativity, discipline and confidence, among others. The Joffrey Academy’s high-quality, educational programming forms future audiences and support for the Joffrey and builds the organization’s reputation worldwide.

The Master and Form is organized by Graham Foundation director Sarah Herda and managing director of public programs Ellen Alderman.


View of "Brendan Fernandes: The Master and Form," in development, 2017, Graham Foundation, Chicago. dancer: Leah Upchurch, photo and rendering: Norman Kelley