On September 21, Art on theMART, the largest permanent digital art projection in the world, will unveil a new commission by Charles Atlas across the 2.5 acre river-façade of theMART. The 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.
“We are honored to have the work of Charles Atlas illuminated on our monumental platform this fall," said Art on theMART Executive Director Cynthia Noble. “His 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.”
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 Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Assistant Curator Grace Deveney, 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.
About Charles Atlas
Charles Atlas has been a pioneering figure in film and video for over four decades. Atlas has extended the limits of his medium, forging new territory in a far-reaching range of genres, stylistic approaches and techniques. Throughout his production, the artist has consistently fostered collaborative relationships, working intimately with such artists and performers as Leigh Bowery, Michael Clark, Douglas Dunn, Marina Abramovic, Yvonne Rainer, Mika Tajima/New Humans, Antony and the Johnsons, and most notably Merce Cunningham, for whom he served as in-house videographer for a decade from the early 1970s through 1983; their close working relationship continued until Cunningham’s death in 2009.
Atlas was born in St. Louis, MO in 1949; he has lived and worked in New York City since the early 1970s. Recent solo exhibitions include The Kitchen, New York; the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; De Hallen, Haarlem; Bloomberg SPACE, London; and Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 2017, the Hammer Museum acquired Atlas’ five-channel video installation with sound entitled The Tyranny of Consciousness, which had been recently featured in Viva Arte Viva, the 57th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennial. Atlas’ work is included in the permanent collections of major institutions worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; San Francisco Museum of Art; Tate Modern, London; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin; Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich; and De Hallen Haarlem, The Netherlands. In 2017, Atlas and choreographers Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener premiered Tesseract, a new two-part work consisting of a stereoscopic 3D film and dance performance with live cinematic mixing.
theMART (formerly The Merchandise Mart), located in the center of the sought-after River North submarket, is interwoven into the fabric of Chicago as an innovator in business, technology, culture, art, media and more. As the largest privately owned commercial building in the United States, it is also one of the world’s leading commercial buildings, wholesale design centers and the preeminent international business location in Chicago. Encompassing 4.2 million gross square feet, theMART spans two city blocks, rises 25 stories, and is visited by an average of 30,000 people each business day and nearly 10 million people annually. Offering continuous innovation and creativity from leading manufacturers and design forward showrooms, theMART serves as the home to Chicago's most creative and technologically innovative companies including Motorola Mobility, 1871, Yelp, PayPal and MATTER, as well as Fortune 500 companies ConAgra, Allstate, Kellogg, Beam Suntory and Grainger. For more information, visithttp://themart.com/.
About Art on theMART
Art on theMART is the largest permanent digital art projection in the world, projecting contemporary artwork across the 2.5 acre river-façade of theMART. This expansive permanent piece of public art continues Chicago’s legacy of providing both residents and visitors with exceptional art that is both free and accessible to all. Projections are visible to the public from Wacker Drive and along the Chicago Riverwalk two hours a night for ten months of the year (March – December), beginning approximately 15 minutes after sundown. The projections are regularly on view five nights a week from Wednesday – Sunday, with expanded nightly viewing from May 13 – September 30, 2019.
The program content rotates every season and is selected with the assistance and expertise of the Curatorial Advisory Board. The City of Chicago and theMART work in partnership to manage and curate the projected artwork over the course of a 30-year agreement. Privately funded by Vornado Realty Trust, owner of theMART, Art on theMART marks the first time a projection of its size and scope will be completely dedicated to digital art with no branding, sponsorship credits or messaging. The permanent projection system illuminates theMART with 34 state-of-the-art projectors totaling almost one million lumens. For more information, visit www.artonthemart.com.
*Image of Charles Atlas by Lori E. Seid