Join our newsletter for deals and moreCaret
Hero Image

A retrospective view of the pathway

Free and open to the public! Visit this interactive sculpture in Polk Bros Park now through October 1!

Erupts Monday – Friday at noon
Erupts Saturday and Sunday at noon and 4pm


Navy Pier, in partnership with EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Modern & Contemporary Art, debuts a new temporary public art installation as a part of EXPO CHICAGO’s IN/SITU Outside program. 

Starting at noon on June 21, the Pier will activate the public art installation, “A retrospective view of the pathway” by Roger Hiorns – courtesy of Luhring Augustine, New York – in Polk Bros Park. The interactive piece is comprised of large-scale stainless steel tanks, a compressor, and foam, presenting the idea of continuous change in a joyous and ebullient manner. Every Monday – Friday at noon and every Saturday and Sunday at noon and 4 p.m., the sculpture will produce giant foam clusters, which will be shaped by the wind and spread across the landscape. In this way, the artist engages with the surroundings and blurs the lines between where the city begins and the art ends. The installation will be on view through EXPO CHICAGO (September 13 – 17, 2017), departing October 1, 2017.

The unique art piece is the creation of London-based Hiorns, who is known for exploring the shifting states of being in his sculptures and installations through the use of organic material, such as foam or copper sulfate, which spontaneously grows bright blue crystals. Such materials allow for generative growth outside of the hand of the artist and for his objects to inhabit interstices between temporality and permanence. The public is welcome to engage with the interactive installation, with the foam becoming the connective tissue between the individual and the artwork.

“In keeping with Chicago’s culturally rich and distinguished arts scene, Navy Pier is proud to team up with its longstanding partner, EXPO CHICAGO, to curate this unique, interactive and imaginative work of art exclusively for our guests to enjoy,” said Navy Pier Chief Programming and Civic Engagement Officer Michelle T. Boone. “We invite the community to engage with Roger Hiorns’ ‘A retrospective view of the pathway’ and stay for the day-long festivities as we formally kick off the summer at the reimagined Pier. The celebration will continue all season long as we introduce more similar projects and collaborations, furthering the Pier’s programmatic vision and organizational mission of inspiring discovery and wonder.”

“A retrospective view of the pathway” is the second public piece to visit Navy Pier as part of Chicago’s Year of Public Art, following the success of “Impulse” earlier this spring. The installation is presented in collaboration with EXPO CHICAGO, and is a part of IN/SITU Outside, a citywide initiative that provides the opportunity for EXPO CHICAGO exhibitors to present temporary public art installations situated along the lakefront and throughout Chicago neighborhoods. In addition to Navy Pier, IN/SITU Outside partnerships include the Chicago Park District (CPD) and the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE).

“Siting internationally renowned artwork by artists, such as Roger Hiorns speaks to the true collaboration between EXPO CHICAGO and Navy Pier,” said EXPO CHICAGO President | Director Tony Karman. “Navy Pier has a long history of working with the art exposition and presenting large scale sculptures. We are grateful to Michelle Boone, her team and all at Navy Pier for recognizing the importance of presenting this work as a part of our IN/SITU Outside program. We are also grateful to one of our participating galleries, Luhring Augustine (New York), for working closely with all of us to make this happen.”


A similar version of A retrospective view of the pathway is in the permanent collection of The Contemporary Austin, Texas for the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria.

Share This Page

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUponBuffer this pageEmail this to someone