The installation, featuring a number of Chicago artists, debuted on September 9, 2016 and will be displayed throughout the hotel’s lobby through October 23, 2016, as a part of public art project. Whoville is the latest project from The Peninsula Hotels’ ongoing partnership with Circa 1881 to present rotating art exhibitions of world-class contemporary art for the hotels’ public spaces. Circa 1881 produces art exhibitions and programming in collaboration with noted collectors or from artworks on loan from private collections it has under management.
Beth Rudin DeWoody’s sizable collection is known for including emerging, established and sometimes overlooked artists and has been featured at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach and the Parrish Museum in Southampton, among other institutions. Beyond avidly collecting works, DeWoody curates exhibitions and supports several art institutions.
About the Exhibition
Whoville contains over 30 artworks and is both an exclusive glimpse into the collecting world of Beth Rudin DeWoody, one of America’s most notable collectors, and a celebration of Chicago’s distinctive artistic history. The contemporary artworks were handpicked by the curator, Laura Dvorkin, who has worked with the BRD Collection for several years. The exhibition highlights some of Chicago’s most prominent artists, past and present, along with an eclectic selection of works that explore travel, transformative environments or share the fantastical, surreal aesthetic of Dr. Seuss’ fictional land, Whoville.
Featured artists include: Thomas Beale, Roger Brown, Nick Cave, Liz Craft, Mira Dancy, Ed Flood, Theaster Gates, Art Green, Richard Jackson, Kerry James Marshall, Bruce Nauman, Gladys Nilsson, Ed Paschke, Randy Polumbo, Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Christina Ramberg, Tony Tasset, H.C. Westermann and Karl Wirsum. The art represented in this exhibition spans an array of media including drawing, painting, collage, sculpture and installation in the form of a 1961 Caravel Airstream Trailer with hand blown glass, welded aluminum and LED lights. The latter composes Randy Polumbo’s Love Stream #2, which will be displayed outside the hotel from September 22 through 25. The piece will be open to the public for viewing daily from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The rest of the collection is open to the public and will be displayed on the 5th floor main Lobby Level from September 9 to October 25. The pieces will be located adjacent to The Lobby and The Bar.
Whoville, is a playful reference to the noted Chicago artist group, the Hairy Who, most of whom studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and exhibited together at the Hyde Park Art Center in the 1960s. The Hairy Who challenged popular taste by producing whimsical, absurd, grotesque and sometimes vulgar imagery. Like the surrealists, they were interested in the stranger and darker aspects of the human mind. Three of the six founding members of the Hairy Who (Gladys Nilsson, Karl Wirsum and Art Green) are included in Whoville.
Many of the other artists featured have connections to Chicago, such as Nick Cave, Ed Flood, Theaster Gates, Kerry James Marshall, Ed Paschke, Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Christina Ramberg and H.C. Westermann.