22-25 SEPTEMBER 2016


Palais de Tokyo 2017

EXPO CHICAGO, The International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art, with the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Institut français and The DuSable Museum of African American History, in partnership with Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, announced The Roundhouse at the DuSable Museum as the official location for a large-scale, off-site exhibition project and official program to open in Chicago as the kick-off for the sixth edition of EXPO CHICAGO (Sept. 13-17, 2017). The first U.S. satellite exhibition of Palais de Tokyo, as part of their broader worldwide Hors les Murs initiative, will open during EXPO ART WEEK on September 12 and run concurrently during the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial (Sept. 16-January 7, 2018) through October 29, 2017.  

Curated by the Palais de Tokyo’s Katell Jaffrès, the group exhibition will present emerging artists from both the French and Chicago art scenes, focusing on the dialogue between architecture and artistic process. Utilizing the raw, historic space of the Roundhouse, a 17,000-sq. ft. building built in 1881 by Burnham and Root, one of Chicago's most famous architectural companies of the nineteenth century, the exhibition will explore the experience of a space and its transformation into an artistic gesture that conducts the viewer’s experience. The Chicago iteration of the Palais de Tokyo’s Hors Les Murs will emphasize the relationship between the space of the Roundhouse, and the selected artists’ site-specific works (to be announced at a later date). Working in collaboration with Andrew Schachman, a Chicago-based Guest Designer nominated by the Graham Foundation, Jaffrès will invite artists with a connection to France and Chicago to conceive newly commissioned installations—both as works of art and spaces able to welcome the work by other artists.

The Roundhouse at The DuSable Museum of African American History.

Choosing to stage the event at the DuSable Museum’s Roundhouse will enable the Palais de Tokyo to export its unique approach in a different space. Built in Paris in 1937, the Palais de Tokyo has gone through major iterations and renovations. When transforming the building into an art center dedicated to supporting emerging and mid-career artists, a conscious decision was made to retain the building’s minimalist aesthetic. It became a veritable statement-piece for the architects, Lacaton & Vassal, commissioned to renovate the building based on Palais de Tokyo’s specific artistic focus and direction. In keeping with that same artistic focus, Palais de Tokyo’s exhibition program pushes the envelope in terms of artistic challenges and scope, providing artists with the opportunity to engage in a strong dialogue exploring the notions of volume and space. Situating this reflection within the context of the Chicago Architecture Biennial will offer an exceptional opportunity to widen this focus, exploring the way the artists can incorporate some of architecture’s own processes into their practice. The program uses art to encourage a more introspective exploration of an individual’s relation to architecture and space.

As previously announced, the project will develop in two parts; the first through a residency partnership with Mana Contemporary Chicago, allowing international and France-based artists to produce new work in Chicago; and the second will be the large-scale public exhibition to take place at the Roundhouse.

The satellite exhibition during EXPO CHICAGO is the first iteration of a new international three year-program developed by Palais de Tokyo and Institut français. The program aims to build special operations to shed light on a new generation of artists and to support their first presence in new territories. Each operation will take place in the context of major international art events, such as a biennial or fair. This new programming initiative is supported by the Institut français and the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.

Residency | August—September, 2017
Hors les Murs Exhibition | September 12 —October 29, 2017

The Roundhouse at The DuSable Museum of African American History. 



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