The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts has named the five creative professionals who were selected to take part in its inaugural fellowship program. Torkwase Dyson, Brendan Fernandes, David Hartt, Martine Syms, and Mark Wasiuta will each receive financial support for the development and production of new works that will be presented in a series of exhibitions at the organization’s historic Madlener House galleries in Chicago.
Hartt, a Philadelphia-based artist, piloted the new program with his new multipart installation In the Forest, which premiered at the Graham Foundation in the fall of 2017. The piece revisits architect Moshe Safdie’s unfinished 1968 Habitat Puerto Rico project. Hartt documented the abandoned site of the project and the frame of the concrete structure that still sits on it, which is slowly being reclaimed by nature.
Fernandes, a Chicago-based artist, is currently exhibiting “The Master and Form,” which comprises an installation and a performance series he created in collaboration with Norman Kelley and investigates themes of mastery and discipline in the practice of ballet, at the Madlener House. It will be followed by an installation by Dyson, who will use the site as both a gallery space and an incubator for discussion; Syms’s presentation of the immersive artwork Incense Sweaters & Ice, which is centered around a Graham Foundation–funded feature-length film of the same title and was inspired by the idea that anything one does while being watched is a performance; and an exhibition curated by Wasiuta that will showcase a range of archival material related to the Graham Foundation’s formative years under the directorship of John Entenza.
Founded in 1956, the Graham Foundation fosters the development and exchange of diverse and challenging ideas about architecture and its role in the arts, culture, and society. It has been located in the Madlener House, a turn-of-the-century Prairie-style mansion designed by Richard E. Schmidt and Hugh M. Gardner, since 1963.