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Related Midwest Announces International Art Commission and Featured Artists for One Bennett Park in Downtown Chicago

In conjunction with EXPO CHICAGO 2018, Related Midwest has unveiled the three artists whose works will be featured in the grand lobbies of One Bennett Park, the developer’s new 70-story residential tower under construction in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood. The first Chicago high-rise designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects [ramsa.com] (RAMSA), One Bennett Park will offer 69 condominiums and 279 apartments, with lobbies that will showcase works by internationally renowned artists Tomás Saraceno, Pae White and Nick Cave.


Related Midwest made the announcement yesterday evening during a private collector’s dinner at the seventh annual EXPO CHICAGO. The art was selected in collaboration with art consultant Andrea Hazen of New York City-based Hazen Art Advisory. The mixed-media work by Cave, along with imagery of the site-specific commission by Saraceno and the piece by White, will be on display throughout EXPO, from Thursday, Sept. 27, through Sunday, Sept. 30, at One Bennett Park’s VIP Booth.


“The museum-quality pieces selected for One Bennett Park underscore Related’s commitment to commissioning and curating extraordinary art that enhances the daily living experience of our residents,” said Curt Bailey, president of Related Midwest. “From commissioning public sculptures like Thomas Heatherwick’s 15-story ‘Vessel’ for New York City’s Hudson Yards, to purchasing original works from local artists for our buildings’ amenity spaces, Related believes in the power of art to inspire communities and elevate design. At One Bennett Park, the breathtaking works by Saraceno, White and Cave complement RAMSA’s elegant, distinctive interiors and mark the beginning of our art program for this legacy building.”


One Bennett Park will display the works from Saraceno, White and Cave in its two separate lobbies: one for condominium residences, located on floors 41 through 66 and expected to deliver in early 2019, and another for apartment residences, located on floors four through 39 and scheduled to open in November.


The condominium lobby, an expansive entrance with soaring 20-foot ceilings, will house a ‘floating’ sculpture from Saraceno commissioned through the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York City. Entitled “Stillness in Motion – 7 Airborne Self Assemblies,” the multi-dimensional, reflective piece is an example of Saraceno’s immersive cloudscapes, which propose new, sustainable ways of inhabiting the environment, drawing inspiration from the worlds of art, architecture, natural sciences and engineering.


“I’m so thrilled to be able to collaborate with Related on this incredible project, my first permanent commissioned work in the city of Chicago,” said Saraceno. “A city with such a rich and storied history of celebrating art and architecture, Chicago has always inspired us to look skywards, to imagine how it feels to float in the air. By condensing the gap between our common consideration of our spatial awareness and atmosphere in visual terms, we are able to create a more effective way of seeing ourselves within this ocean of air at the bottom of which we dwell.”


“Stillness in Motion – 7 Airborne Self Assemblies” is currently in production at Studio Tomás Saraceno in Berlin. Saraceno, who exhibited at the 2016 Chicago Architectural Biennial and whose work can be viewed in the permanent collections of museums around the world, has been selected to take over the exhibition spaces of the Palias de Tokyo in Paris for fall 2018 with his ON AIR exhibit, designated as the institution’s fourth annual Carte Blanche.


Gracing the north wall of the condominium lobby will be an oversized cotton, lurex and polyester tapestry from L.A.-based artist Pae White entitled “Bugs’ +body[radom10)]+”_abrash”+(black/blue)+newCoke” (2016). White is recognized for transforming ordinary and non-conventional materials into “ephemeral objects” and this tapestry, like Sarceno’s sculpture, is inspired by nature and science. White creates tapestries on custom-made, industrial-sized machines but has spent years working with Belgian weavers to mimic the appearance of hand embroidery on a large scale. She has presented major installations for the Whitney Biennial and Venice Biennale, and her one-of-a-kind works have been seen around the world.


“Our vision for One Bennett Park’s condominium lobby included commissioning an important site-specific work that would highlight the beauty and richness of the Art Deco-style room, as well as inspire conversation and dialogue,” said Ann Thompson, senior vice president of architecture and design at Related Midwest. “The dynamic, multi-dimensional floating sculpture by Tomás Saraceno creates artistic tension in the room, balancing its scale and formality. The luminescent tapestry by White adds to the warmth and texture and the overall immersive experience of the space. One Bennett Park’s lobbies are designed to be far more than pass-through rooms; they’re museum galleries in your home, meant to be enjoyed by residents and their guests.”


Meanwhile, the centerpiece of One Bennett Park’s apartment lobby will be “Tondo” (2018), a mixed-media piece by Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist Nick Cave. Measuring 6 feet in diameter and composed of metal, wire, bugle beads, sequined fabric and wood, it is one in a series of tondos by Cave. For this iteration, swirling cacophonies of colors were created from the layered mapping of cataclysmic weather patterns superimposed onto brain scans of black youth suffering from PTSD as a result of gun violence.


Like much of Cave’s well-known work, from wearable “soundsuits” to performance pieces and installations, “Tondo” (2018) is designed to heighten awareness of a looming social issue and offer impetus for change in communities. Cave is the recipient of numerous grants and awards and has presented over 50 international exhibitions. He leads the graduate program of the fashion department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, is an Art in Embassies International Medal of Arts honoree and has received the Americans of the Arts Public Art Network Year in Review Award.


“With One Bennett Park, I sought to meet Related’s vision of featuring artists whose work would integrate seamlessly and meaningfully with the formal and classically inspired architecture designed by RAMSA,” said Hazen, president of Hazen Art Advisory. “This meant going beyond the traditional mediums for lobbies and selecting artists like Saraceno, White and Cave, each of whom adds a distinct aesthetic and global perspective to the One Bennett Park collection.”


For more information on One Bennett Park or to schedule an appointment at the sales and leasing center, open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 350 W. Hubbard St., Suite 300, call (312) 662-1900 or visit www.onebennettpark.com.