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Whoville Meets The Windy City

August 28, 2016
Art Exhibition at The Peninsula Chicago

The Peninsula Chicago was honored to feature a significant art exhibition from Beth Rudin DeWoody’s private collection, curated by Laura Dvorkin in conjunction with Circa 1881. Entitled Whoville, this exhibition coincided with the annual EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art, which took place in Chicago, September 22 to 25, 2016.  

From September 9th through October 23rd 2016, the exhibition featured a number of renowned artists with connections to Chicago.


The Lobby's Salon-Style Wall featured artists with connections to Chicago. One being Kerry James Marshall, considered one of America's greatest living artists, Marshall still resides in Chicago and continues, through his work, to amplify the presence of black subjects displayed in art museums. Other artists featured on this wall included Ed Paschke, Ed Flood, Karl Wirsum, H.C. Westermann, Mira Dancy, Gladys Nilsson and Nathaniel Mary Quinn all have connections to Chicago.

A sculpture by artist, urban planner and developer, Theaster Gates entitled Stack 6901-25 was also featured on the Salon-Style Wall. Gates grew up in Chicago's East Garfield Park and has numerous local social projects aimed at transforming impoverished communities through art. His work as an artist often incorporates found materials, addressing different methods of bridging the gap between art and philanthropy. Also featured was Richard Jackson's inverted Degas sculpture, Ballerina.

Adjacent to this wall included works by H.C. Westermann, a seminal figure in postwar American art, form his See America First collection, inspired by a 1964 cross-country road trip. 

"Eyes Without A Face" by Liz Craft, "Disclosing Enclosure" by Art Green and "Snowman" by Tony Tasset


Nick Cave's Hustle Coat aligns with his reputation for creating wearable art.  Hustle Coat also alludes to a 2012 Chicago undercover investigation into a notorious theft ring nicknamed, "Operation Whoville."  Also featured in the Bar Foyer is Cave's Sound Suit #20.  This Sound Suit is part of a series of sculptural forms named after the noise they make when worn. 

Gladys Nilsson's A Girl in the Arbor #1 was also featured in the pre-bar area.  Nilsson is one of the six original members of the "Hairy Who," along with Karl Wirsum and Art Green, who were also featured in the exhibit. The "Hairy Who" attended the Art Institute of Chicago and was originally exhibited together at the Hyde Park Art Center in the 1960s. This group famously challenged popular taste by producing abstract imagery. Like the surrealists, they were interested in the stranger and darker aspects of the human mind. 

Also featured in this area was Nathaniel Mary Quinn's RichardBruce Nauman's Justine TimeThomas Beale's E.W.S. (Cunard)Christina Ramberg's Shadow PanelEd Flood's Design for "Spirit of the Comics" Poster and Roger Brown's Virtual Still Life #8: Vases with a View.

Adjacent to the Bar Foyer, Eyes Without a Face (brown) by Liz Craft and Disclosing Enclosure by Art Green were paired together to create the illusion that Liz Craft's eyes belong to the face in Art Green's piece.  Also in this area was Tony Tasset's Snowman made from glass, resin, brass, enamel paint, poly-styrene, stainless steel and bronze.