On September 21, Art on theMART, the largest permanent digital art projection in the world, will unveil new site-specific commissions by Charles Atlas and Petra Cortright. The program will also feature extended viewing of select soliloquies by Year of Chicago Theatre artistJohn Boesche, including a projected performance by Cheryl Lynn Bruce backgrounded by images of paintings by artist Kerry James Marshall. The approximately 25 minute program will be unveiled with a free public launch event at 6:30 p.m. on September 21 in alignment withEXPO ART WEEK (September 16 – 22). The launch event will feature food vendors and entertainment on Wacker Dr. between Wells St. and Franklin St., followed by a fireworks display that concludes the program.
During the opening weekend of the fall program (September 21 & 22), Art on theMART will add a collaboration with EXPO CHICAGO’s OVERRIDE | A Billboard Project to the fall program. Following the opening weekend, the fall program will remain on view nightly through September 30, then transition to five-nights-a-week (Wednesday – Sunday) until November 22, beginning approximately 30 minutes after sunset.
“We are proud to present a strong program highlighting new contemporary artwork by Charles Atlas and Petra Cortright on our monumental platform this fall,” said Art on theMART Executive Director Cynthia Noble. “The visually and conceptually rich work is perfectly suited for a presentation of this scale and will be essential viewing for Chicagoans and visitors from around the world.”
Charles Atlas’ site-specific projection is an approximately eight-minute piece is broken down into 1-minute chapters, which each feature a characteristic combination of abstract shapes and numerals. Chapters begin with a splash of color that starts at the base of theMART’s façade and rises to the top of the turrets, animating and exploring the structure and architecture of theMART.
“I am very excited to be working with Art on theMART on my first public art commission,” said artist Charles Atlas. “In my recent installation work I have been working at a large scale, but never at nearly the scale of the Chicago piece, which is inspired by and in response to the architecture of the façade of theMART. The projection represents a continuation of a tendency of some of my recent video work towards pure color and abstraction.”
In Petra Cortright’s site-specific commission Webcam still life with flowers: blue, green, and red, the artist continues an exploration into merging her painting and video practices. The work, which will project across theMART’s 2.5 acre river-façade, blurs the lines between the two using a range of technical and figurative modes key to her work in both fields. The result reflects the incredibly intimate and low fi approaches in which Cortright works, translated to a grand scale.
“I wanted to make something bright and beautiful for Chicago’s public,” said artist Petra Cortright. “The effects used in the videos took the architecture of the building into account, and the simplicity of the figurative content is meant to offer space for a contemplative visual experience.” Cortright added, “The best gift is always flowers."
Finally, Art on theMART will continue to display a selection of John Boesche’s 7 soliloquies, a multi-part projection piece that premiered March 13 in alignment with the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre. The work highlights significant Chicago theater artists in brief solo performances. In addition to performers, the work features prominent composers, sound and scenic designers, puppeteers and visual artists. Acts that will remain on view through the Fall Program include To Be In Love, a piece featuring performance by Cheryl Lynn Bruce and original artwork by Kerry James Marshall.
Art on theMART 2019 program selections were confirmed by an esteemed Curatorial Advisory Board comprised of several of the city’s most distinguished arts and culture leaders. In addition to Art on theMART Executive Director Cynthia Noble, Curatorial Advisory Board members include Art Institute of Chicago Assistant Curator Robyn Farrell, EXPO CHICAGO President/Director Tony Karman, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Director of Public Art Lydia Ross, artist Edra Soto and artist Amanda Williams.