The 21c Museum Hotel Chicago has announced the launch of its new on-site exhibit, Pop Stars! Popular culture and contemporary art, whose opening is scheduled for Monday, March 21.
The multimedia exhibition illuminates the intersection of fame, commerce, technology and media, including notable works by Nick Cave, Brendan Fernandes, Titus Kaphar, Hank Willis Thomas and Kehinde Wiley, among others. Covering the more than 10,000 square feet of the gallery at 21c Museum Hotel Chicago, Pop Stars! features over 90 works of art by 55 artists from around the world. The opening reception is scheduled for Thursday, March 24 at 6 p.m., with curator’s remarks and a conversation with featured artist Brendan Fernandes from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The artists featured in Pop Stars! examine recent changes in the way culture is created and consumed, demonstrating the dominance of the popular as today’s pervasive culture. Curated by museum director and chief curator Alice Gray Stites, Pop Stars! will be on view at the 21c Museum Hotel Chicago until February 2023.
“Superheroes and celebrities, totems and toys: the imagery of manufactured fantasy is reframed in the visual language of historical iconography,” Stites said. “With unprecedented access to its own audience, we find affirmation on screen and revere fame as our final destination. As the real and the virtual increasingly collide, the boundaries between art and media fade further, inspiring new mythologies realized in new materials: stars of stage, screen and sport are reimagined, offering insight into how desire shapes identity. religious iconography are embedded in an array of artworks that illustrate the persistent and powerful impact of technology on who we are and what we want.
The diverse group of artists featured in Pop Stars! drawing inspiration from popular culture, appropriating and reworking images from the history of art, commerce, politics, religion, science, sport and technology. The legacy of late 20th century Pop Art is evident throughout the exhibition: Andy Warhol’s style and subject matter echo paintings by Van Hoang, Rebecca Campbell, Walter Robinson, Titus Kaphar and Ryan McGinness ; in the sculptural works of Sanford Biggers, Felipe Barbosa and Olivier Blanckart; in photography by David Scheinmann, Adriana Duque and Slater Bradley; and in multimedia works by Nick Cave, April Bey and Godfried Donkor, among others. R. Luke DuBois, Shamus Clisset, Robert Wilson, Katie Miller and others use digital tools and images, demonstrating how pop culture is increasingly synonymous with technoculture.
Today, artists like Kehinde Wiley, Derrick Adams, Frances Goodman, Hank Willis Thomas, Laurel Nakadate, Brian Paumier, and others, consecrate the everyday, intertwining high and low, past and present, to reveal the evolution of our identities and aspirations in a rapidly changing world. Nick Cave’s embellished sculpture, Hustle Coat (2014), imbues the mundane with mystical and otherworldly qualities. A plain trench coat is lined with rows of glittering jewellery, watches and chains, referencing the coats worn by street vendors who offer “counterfeit” luxury brand goods at a fraction of the price. Cave’s work perfectly encapsulates the elevation of the everyday so synonymous with Pop Art and popular culture today.
The 21c Museum Hotel Chicago is one of nine 21c Museum Hotel locations that form North America’s only multi-location museum dedicated to collecting and exhibiting 21st century art. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and free to the public, 21c Museum Hotel Chicago offers guided tours of current exhibits, adding another must-see cultural destination to the city’s vibrant arts scene for travelers and residents alike. . Guided tours start in the hotel lobby every Friday at 5:00 p.m.
For more information, including hotel and museum reservations, visit www.21cchicago.com.