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


Use Your Illusion: Barbara Kasten's "Architectural Sites"
Alex Kitnick
Oct 22, 2015, 6pm

Please RSVP

**Please note: The talk will take place at the International Museum of Surgical Science, 1524 N Lake Shore Drive. Doors open at 5:30pm and seating is first come, first serve. Following the talk, join us for a reception in the Graham Foundation galleries, where the exhibition "Barbara Kasten: Stages" is on view.**

In conjunction with our new exhibition Barbara Kasten: Stages, art historian and critic Alex Kitnick will explore the critical stakes of Barbara Kasten’s photographic series from the 1980s that artfully staged important works of American architecture, including Arata Isozaki’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and Richard Meier’s High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Created at the height of postmodern theory, Kasten's Architectural Sites submits iconic buildings to distorting angles and colored lights, thus transforming already vertiginous structures into truly illusory spaces. Kitnick argues that these photographs offer a unique form of criticism that seek to heighten—rather than deconstruct—the effects of an emerging Postmodernism, and that these effects that are increasingly familiar today.


Alex Kitnick teaches at Bard College, where he was recently appointed the Brant Family Fellow in Contemporary Arts. In 2010 he received his PhD from the Department of Art & Archaeology at Princeton University. From 2011 to 2012 he held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. Kitnick's work frequently focuses on the intersection of art and architecture. He has edited numerous volumes including a collection of John McHale’s writings, The Expendable Reader: Articles on Art, Architecture, Design, and Media, 1951-1979, which was supported by a grant from the Graham Foundation, and October 136 on New Brutalism. He is a frequent contributor to ArtforumOctober, and Texte zur Kunst, among other publications.

Related Grant: 2011 Individual Grant to Alex Kitnick for the publication “The Expendable Reader: John McHale on Art, Architecture, Design, and Media, 1951-1979" (Sourcebook Series, GSAPP Books, 2011).

Image: Barbara Kasten, "Architectural Site 17, August 29, 1988", 1988. Cibachrome. 60 X 50 inches. Location: High Musem of Art, Atlanta, GA. Architect: Richard Meier. Courtesy of the artist.

For more information on the exhibition, Barbara Kasten: Stages, click here.



Opening Reception: Barbara Kasten: Stages
Oct 01, 2015, 5pm
Opening Reception

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Please join us for a reception to celebrate the opening of our fall exhibition, Barbara Kasten: Stages, with comments by Barbara Kasten and ICA curator Alex Klein.

In conjunction with the exhibition opening, the Graham Foundation, with Distributed Art Publishers, is pleased to launch Barbara Kasten: The Diazotypes––a special small-run artist book of Kasten's diazotypes, a body of work she created while living in California in the 1970s, using a process commonly employed to create architectural blueprints. Along with the exhibition catalogue, Barbara Kasten: The Diazotypes will be available for purchase at the Graham Foundation Bookshop.

Barbara Kasten: Stages is organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania and is curated by ICA Curator Alex Klein. This exhibition is presented in partnership with the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Major support for Barbara Kasten: Stages has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from the Nancy E. and Leonard M. Amoroso Exhibition Fund, Pamela Toub Berkman & David J. Berkman, Bortolami, the Carol T. & John G. Finley Fund, Kadel Willborn Gallery, the Marjorie E. and Michael J. Levine Fund, Toby Devan Lewis, Amanda & Andrew Megibow, Stephanie B. & David E. Simon, Babette L. & Harvey A. Snyder, and Meredith L. & Bryan S.Verona.


Please note that the opening reception for Barbara Kasten: Stages is being filmed for a documentary produced by the nonprofit contemporary art organization ART21, which creates educational films for public television and the Web. By entering the exhibition space on October 1, you may be included in some of the shots filmed for this documentary, and consent to be so included. Should you have any questions, please direct them to Graham Foundation staff Mia Khimm ( or Meg Onli (, who will be present during filming. Thank you for your understanding.

Image: Photo-documentation of Barbara Kasten working in her studio, New York, NY, 1983. Photo by Kurt Kilgus. Courtesy of the artist.

For more information on the exhibition, Barbara Kasten: Stages, click here.



Orders From the Horse
Khecari Dance Company
Aug 21, 2015, 8pm

Please RSVP

Khecari Dance Company is a Chicago-based contemporary dance company whose original, movement-based works are notable for their power, idiosyncrasy, and resonance. On August 21, Khecari Dance Company will present their newest work-in-progress—Orders from the Horse—an immersive, site-specific dance performance that will activate multiple rooms in the Graham Foundation’s turn-of-the-century Madlener House. Crafting different environments to frame various perceptual states, dancers will negotiate a landscape pocked with dips, rises, and eddies; falling in, through, or past each other’s wake as they move. Orders From The Horse will be performed by artistic directors Julia Antonick and Jonathon Meyer, with Lighting Design by Rachel K. Levy, and percussion by Joe St. Charles.

Julia Antonick, Khecari’s co-artistic director since 2010, is a dancer and choreographer whose work emphasizes kinetics, filigree, and partnering work. Since 2007, she has been immersed in an ongoing collaboration with her partner Jonathan Meyer, an ongoing investigation of duet-based movement forms. Antonick graduated from the Chicago Academy for the Arts with the Dance Department’s Award of Excellence, and received her BFA in dance from CalArts. She has received choreographic residencies at Djerassi, Ragdale, Links Hall (LinkUp), the Chicago Cultural Center (DanceBridge), and the Storefront Theater. She has received grants from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Illinois Arts Council, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Chicago Seminar on Dance and Performance, The Weasel Fund, Community Arts Assistance Program, and was awarded the Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist Grant for 2009/2010.

Jonathan Meyer is Co-Artistic Director of Khecari. A gymnast in high school, Meyer discovered dance at Oberlin College in 1990.  After a capoeira immersion in Brazil with Maestre Medicina, he returned to college to receive an undergraduate degree in dance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  Jonathan has spent time in Montreal, Utah, Amsterdam, and New York, alternating between the dance world and work with at-risk youth in wilderness therapy programs.  In 2002, he founded Khecari in Taos, New Mexico, before relocating to Chicago in 2006.  Shortly thereafter he began an intensive collaboration and partnership with Julia Rae Antonick, with whom he currently runs the company. Meyer has been a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist, an artist in residence at Djerassi and Ragdale Foundations and through LinkUp and DanceBridge in Chicago, and has received support from the Illinois Arts Council and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

Rachel K. Levy is lighting designer for Khecari. Levy’s work has been seen on actors, dancers, musicians, and other performers throughout the US. Highlights include: Piedra de Sol (Getty Villa, Los Angeles, CA); LA Grand Ensemble (Los Angles, CA); Vitality (Dance Alliance, Los Angeles, CA); Beware (Bootleg Theatre, Los Angeles, CA); Patty: The Revival (Highway Theatre, Santa Monica, CA); Antiman, Where’s My Money (Michele Lonsdale Smith Productions, Los Angeles, CA); and Unroute (Michaelopolous Studio, New Orleans, LA). Additionally, Rachel has received two Primetime Emmy Award Certificates for Best Lighting for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Show (So You Think You Can Dance 2011, 2012), and holds an MFA in Production and Design from California Institute of the Arts and a BFA in Dance from Tulane University.

Joe St. Charles is a percussion composer, performer, improviser and teacher who has been working in Chicago since 2001. He has performed at various galleries, music venues, festivals, and institutions throughout the city including The Chicago Cultural Center, Links Hall, Pritzker Pavilion, Curtiss Hall, The Museum of Contemporary Art and the Ruth Page Center for Dance as well as commissioned performances at The University of Chicago and The Dance Center at Columbia College Chicago. Joe also releases percussion recordings under the name Owleater, and teaches students both young and old on Chicago’s north side.

Image credit: William Frederking

Related Links
Khecari Dance Company



THE MAKING OF AN AVANT-GARDE: The Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies 1967–1984
a Film by Diana Agrest
Jul 23, 2015, 6pm

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Diana Agrest's documentary film traces the critical undertakings of the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies (IAUS). Founded in NYC in 1967 as an alternative forum for architectural research, education, and practice, the IAUS was a place of immense energy and effervescence, whose young founders and participants, while hardly known at the time, would shape architectural practice and theory for decades. They included figures such as Peter Eisenman, Kenneth Frampton, Frank Gehry, Aldo Rossi, Deborah Berke, Rafael Moneo, as well as Agrest herself. Featuring remarkable archival footage and interviews with the IAUS's original participants, this Graham-funded film provides an intimate look back at the creation of the IAUS and its enduring significance as a locus for the architectural avant-garde.

Diana Agrest, FAIA was a Fellow of the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York City from 1972-1984 and is the writer, producer, and director of The Making of an Avant-Garde, The Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies 1967-1984. Agrest is an internationally renowned architect known for her unique and pioneering approach to architecture and urbanism. She is founder and partner of Agrest and Gandelsonas Architects and has designed and built a range of award-winning projects including urban master plans, institutional buildings, residences, and interiors. Agrest is a full-time Professor at The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union and has previously taught at Princeton, Columbia, and Yale universities. Her published books include Architecture from Without: Theoretical Framings for a Critical Practice (MIT Press, 1991); Agrest and Gandelsonas Works (Princeton Architectural Press, 1995); The Sex of Architecture (eds. Agrest, Conway, and Weisman; Abrams, 1996). She created and directed Framing the City: Film, Video, Urban Architecture at The Whitney Museum of American Art in 1993 and has produced over fifty short films at the Cooper Union, Columbia University, and University of Buenos Aires.

Related Grant: 2010 Individual Grant to Diana Agrest for “The Making of an Avant-Garde: The Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, 1967-84"

Image: IAUS Fellows and other members summer dinner. Film still from The Making of an Avant Garde, 2012.

Related Links
The Making of an Avant-Garde: The Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies 1967–1984



View of "Lina Bo Bardi: Together", 2015, Graham Foundation, Chicago. Photo by: RCH | EKH.

Lina Bo Bardi: Together Exhibition Tour
Jun 17, 2015, 11:30am

As part of Chicago Design Week, Ellen Alderman, Managing Director of Public Programs will give a tour of the exhibition Lina Bo Bardi: Together, which presents the extraordinary work and legacy of the Italian-born Brazilian architect, furniture and set designer, curator, illustrator, and editor Lina Bo Bardi.

Featuring new works by artist Madelon Vriesendorp, filmmaker Tapio Snellman, and photographer Ioana Marinescu, this exhibition endeavors to inspire new conversations around Lina Bo Bardi’s work. It brings to life the experience of Bo Bardi’s buildings and her inclusive approach to design, which aimed to dispel aesthetic and social hierarchies and embraced the texture and diversity of her adopted Brazil. Additionally, the exhibition includes three of Arper’s recent limited edition of Bo Bardi’s Bowl Chair, which was originally designed in 1951, but never manufactured until now.

The event is free and open to the public.


Unless otherwise noted,
all events take place at:

Madlener House
4 West Burton Place, Chicago
The Graham Foundation galleries are open Wednesday through Saturday from 11-6PM.

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.