Wrightwood 659 in Chicago invites visitors to experience a variety of new exhibitions, on view now through July 16, 2022.

American Framing is a reinstallation of the exhibition presented by the US Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. Wood frame construction, arguably a symbol of American ingenuity since the early 19th century, facilitated a historic period of unprecedented infrastructural growth during the westward expansion of the United States. Today, wood framing remains one of the most affordable and accessible construction methods crossing typological and class divides.

From American Framing: Addition to the Pavilion of the United States at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia (photo by co-curators Paul Andersen and Paul Preissner)

Explore this “great forgotten basis of American architecture” (Paul Preissner, Co-Curator) through a multidisciplinary exhibition that includes a three-story installation, scale models, site-specific furniture, and photography by Daniel Shea and Chris Strong highlighting the natural sites that produce lumber and the human labor required to convert raw materials to livable structures.

The critically acclaimed Rirkrit Tiravanija: (who’s afraid of red, yellow, and green) comes to Wrightwood from the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC. Known for his art practice of generating community by centering the everyday act of gathering for a meal, Tiravanija frames this piece, his signature culinary offering, with images of political protest drawn live by local artists. By activating the invisible social and political fabric within and around the institution, the Thai artist hopes to address visitors as citizens, cohabitors, and consumers to provoke participation — and challenge expectations.

Installation view of Rirkrit Tiravanija (who’s afraid of red, yellow, and green) at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in 2019 (photo by Shannon Finney, image courtesy Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden)

Moga: Modern Women & Daughters in 1930s Japan is an intimate premiere of Japanese paintings from the 1930s never before exhibited in the United States. These works expand on the common depiction of the urbane “modern girl” (modan gāru or moga), a concept that captured the public imagination in 1920s Japan, prioritizing an independent lifestyle and challenging the traditional state-sanctioned ideal of the “good wife, wise mother.” However, the ideal role of women in Japanese society was not one-dimensional and continued to diversify during the 1930s. This exhibition brings paintings of mothers and daughters back into the conversation about moga, exhibiting them beside the more popular imagery of the “modern girl.”

One of Bangladesh’s most prominent photojournalists, writers, and activists returns to Wrightwood 659 in Shahidul Alam: We Shall Defy, a testament to the power of the human spirit and the fragility of democracy. The show focuses on a series of nine large banners that use photography to make reference to Patachitara, an ancient form of Bangla art in which cloth scrolls are painted with detailed depictions of mythical narratives.

For more information and to reserve tickets, visit wrightwood659.org.

Shahidul Alam, “Ship Yard Worker,” on view in the exhibition We Shall Defy

American Framing is presented at Wrightwood 659 by Alphawood Exhibitions in cooperation with the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Curated by architects and professors Paul Preissner and Paul Andersen, American Framing was originally made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the US Department of State and UIC for presentation at the Pavilion of the United States at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition — La Biennale di Venezia.

Rirkrit Tiravanija: (who’s afraid of red, yellow, and green) is organized by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

Support for all exhibitions is provided by Alphawood Foundation Chicago.

Wrightwood 659 atrium (photo by Jeff Goldberg)