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


In Search of Philip Johnson
Mark Lamster
Mar 28, 2019 (6pm)

Please RSVP

Most people in the design world know Philip Johnson, or think they do: He was the controversial architect with the round glasses who built a glass house and gave us the chippendale-capped AT&T Building in New York. But who, really, was he? In the course of his long life, he had a series of careers—curator, critic, journalist, politician—of which architect was only one. He was intellectually peripatetic. His buildings ranged widely in style and quality. How did he become this way? Who exactly was this complex man? Johnson biographer and Graham grantee Mark Lamster will talk about the process of figuring out Johnson, and putting that story into narrative form for his new book, The Man in the Glass House: Philip Johnson, Architect of the Modern Century.

Mark Lamster is the architecture critic of the Dallas Morning News and a professor at the architecture school of the University of Texas at Arlington. In 2017, he was a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal, and he is a regular contributor to numerous magazines.

Related Graham Foundation supported projects:
2010 research grant to Mark Lamster for Philip Johnson: A Biography

Image: The Glass House, in New Canaan, CT



Third Hand
Vlatka Horvat
Apr 04, 2019 (7pm)

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The starting point for Vlatka Horvat’s performance Third Hand is a collection of scenes, images, and moments that other artists and writers have recounted to her from memory. Responding to this unruly catalogue of vivid fragments, all of which focus on the performing body, Horvat creates a work that is somewhere between collage, animated archive, partial reenactment, and memory palace. Third Hand explores the ways in which performance lingers despite the processes of distortion, displacement, and erasure which take place in memory and over time, and which are amplified through the act of narration.

The human body summoned in Third Hand is a problematic, transforming, and misremembered one—mistaken for animal, ghost, object, or machine; hesitant and determined; exhausted and persisting; ecstatic, working, resting, and playing, as it is made and remade in language and in the moment of performance.

Work in progress developed and performed with Michael Thomas.

Vlatka Horvat works across a wide range of forms, including sculp­ture, installation, drawing, performance, photography, and writing. Her work is presented internationally in a variety of contexts—in museums and galleries, theater and dance festivals, and in public space. Recent exhibitions include: Croatian national Pavilion at the 16th Architecture Biennale, Museums Sheffield, Renata Fabbri Gallery (Milan), Eastwards Prospectus (Bucharest), Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb, Bard Center for Curatorial Studies (upstate NY), Wilfried Lentz Gallery (Rotterdam), CAPRI (Düssel­dorf). Her performances have been commissioned and presented by venues across Europe, North America, and beyond, including HAU – Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), LIFT – London International Festival of Theatre, PACT Zollverein (Essen), Tanzquartier Wien (Vienna), Outpost for Contemporary Art (LA), and many others. Born in what used to be Yugoslavia, Horvat moved to the US as a teenager. After 20 years in the States, she currently lives in London, where she teaches in the Fine Art department at Central St Martins, University of the Arts London.

IN>TIME is Chicago’s triannual winter-long performance festival. The IN>TIME Festival features a season of performances, presentations, and exhibitions at venues throughout the city from local, national, and international artists.

Image: courtesy of the artist



Near/Miss: Bollingen Prize Poetry Reading
Charles Bernstein
Apr 17, 2019 (6pm)

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Charles Bernstein is the recipient of 2019 Bollingen Prize for American Poetry, the premier prize for lifetime achievement in poetry, administered by Yale University. He will read poems from Near/Miss (University of Chicago Press, 2018), honored by the prize, and more recent work. Presented in relationship to the exhibition Eternal Gradient, Bernstein will also read works in response to Arakawa and Madeline Gins’ work, reflecting his decades-long friendship with the artists.

This event is presented in partnership with the Poetry Foundation.

Charles Bernstein is the author of Near/Miss (University of Chicago Press, 2018), Pitch of Poetry (essays) (Chicago, 2016),  Recalculating (Chicago, 2013) and Attack of the Difficult Poems: Essays and Inventions (Chicago, 2011).  In 2010, Farrar, Straus & Giroux published All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems. Bernstein is Donald T. Regan Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is co-director of PennSound. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience.

Image caption: Arakawa’s cover for Bernstein’s book Islets/Irritations Jordan Davies, 1983

For more information on the exhibition, Eternal Gradient , click here.



Possible Mediums
Kelly Bair, Kristy Balliet, Adam Fure, and Kyle Miller
Apr 25, 2019 (6pm)
Panel Discussion

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Join us for a panel discussion to launch the recently published Graham funded book Possible Mediums. The editors Kelly Bair, Kristy Balliet, Adam Fure, and Kyle Miller will exhibit and present the Possible Mediums book and will be joined in discussion by Zoë Ryan.

Possible Mediums presents a collection of sixteen speculative design mediums by emerging architects. Each chapter defines an active medium in contemporary architecture through descriptions, drawings, and objects. Possible Mediums arranges projects according to shared technical and aesthetic traits, creating a vibrant taxonomy of design. Descriptive texts explain the working principles behind each medium and introduce design concepts intended to inspire students and professionals alike. Through its many contributors, Possible Mediums establishes design as a collective endeavor propelled by the open exchange of ideas and techniques. Possible Mediums is not a systematic theory, a manifesto, or a banal survey; it is a projection of architecture and knowledge to come.

Kelly Bair is Partner of BairBalliet, Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor at University of Illinois at Chicago School of Architecture.

Kristy Balliet is Partner of BairBalliet and Faculty at Southern California Institute of Architecture.

Adam Fure is Principal of T+E+A+M and Assistant Professor at University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.

Kyle Miller is an Assistant Professor at Syracuse University School of Architecture.

Zoë Ryan is the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago. A curator and author, her projects focus on exploring the impact of architecture and design on society.

Related Graham supported projects:
2018 grant to Kelly Bair, Kristy Balliet, Adam Fure, and Kyle Miller for the publication Possible Mediums

Image: Cover of Possible Mediums, 2018.


James Hoff
Lampo Performance Series
Apr 27, 2019 (8pm)

RSVP required; Available soon

James Hoff’s work often relies on misusing technology as a generative act.

For Lampo and the Graham Foundation, he presents a site-specific version of his most recent audiovisual project HOBO UFO, which uses a custom hack of Google Maps’ Street View to make the platform sound reactive. Hoff’s performance takes place physically and virtually in Chicago, starting at Madlener House and then moving beyond, driven by the real-time music the artist creates from pilfered radio frequencies that transmit GPS and other data streams.

James Hoff (b.1975, Fort Wayne, Ind.) works in a variety of media, including painting, sound, writing, and performance. In recent years, his interests have focused on language and media systems at the intersection of developing technologies and traditional artistic genre forms. He has created paintings and music using computer viruses and developed several bodies of work that examine how the language of network communication has changed our contemporary notions of landscape and nature.

Hoff is also one of the founders of Primary Information, a nonprofit arts organization devoted to publishing artists’ books and art historical documents. He has two releases forthcoming on PAN in 2019, HOBO UFO (Cherynobyl) and an LP of works for French horn and tuba.

James Hoff first performed for Lampo in December 2015.

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: Hoff describes his studio practice as a painter and sound artist, including his reliance on self-distributing and language-based systems, which for him are both metaphors for creation and generative tools. He elaborates on his HOBO UFO project and discusses an “ambient capitalism” and its relationship to the work and the exclusion zone around Chernobyl and Pripyat, Ukraine. Lampo Annex, Monadnock Building, 53 W. Jackson Blvd. #1656. Friday, April 26, 6pm.


Unless otherwise noted,
all events take place at:

Madlener House
4 West Burton Place, Chicago

Gallery and Bookshop Hours:

Wednesday—Saturday, 11am–6pm


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.