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Public Art & Exhibitions

Temporary Installations

A retrospective view of the pathway

A retrospective view of the pathway

Free and open to the public

Join us at noon and 4 p.m. in Polk Bros Park for twice-daily “eruptions” of giant foam clusters, now through September 17.

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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.”

Gallery

The NAMES Project’s AIDS Memorial Quilt

The NAMES Project’s AIDS Memorial Quilt

Free and open to the public

As part of our Pier Pride celebration, Navy Pier welcomes back The NAMES Project’s AIDS Memorial Quilt from Saturday, June 17 through Sunday, June 25.

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As part of Pier Pride, Navy Pier welcomes back The NAMES Project’s AIDS Memorial Quilt. The internationally-renowned quilt, featuring Chicago-centric panels, will once again be on display for public viewing from Saturday, June 17 through Sunday, June 25 in the lower-level corridor below Festival Hall, near Riva Crabhouse. As a special addition to this year’s showcase, nearly 50 original and powerful photographs from the inaugural 1988 Quilt exhibit at Navy Pier, captured by photographer Lisa Howe-Ebright, will also be on display for public viewing.

All Access with Paul Natkin

All Access with Paul Natkin

Free and open to the public

In honor of Exhibitionism – The Rolling Stones, at Navy Pier April 15 – July 30, All Access with Paul Natkin features a sampling of the legendary photographer’s images from his decades of touring with the Rolling Stones. 

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Paul Natkin is and always has been a Chicagoan. Throughout his remarkable career, Natkin has captured iconic images of rock, pop, blues, country, and soul music legends: Muddy Waters, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Alanis Morrisette, Ozzy Osbourne, Lenny Kravitz and countless others. His work has been exhibited in major museums and seen by millions in major publications such as Time, Newsweek, Ebony, Playboy, and Rolling Stone magazine. Natkin has toured with the Rolling Stones for decades, capturing intimate moments backstage and the intensity of the most energetic shows on stage. All Access with Paul Natkin is a mere sampling of thousands of this photographs of the Rolling Stones. 

Public Art

Meet me at the “P”

Meet me at the “P”

The Polk family—siblings Sol, Morris, Goldie, Sam, David and Harry— changed the course of American retail, the face of Chicago’s neighborhoods, and the everyday lives of Chicago’s working families. From 1935 to 1992, the Polk Bros chain of appliance and furniture stores put luxury and convenience within reach, offering discounted prices on essential household goods and strengthening the economic base on which vibrant communities depend. In the process, what began as a single store in Portage Park, opened by the sons of Eastern European immigrants, became a Chicago institution: a vital fixture in 17 neighborhoods and the most successful Chicago retailer that never opened a store downtown.

Bob Newhart Statue

Bob Newhart Statue

Designed for visitor participation, lie on the couch and pour out your troubles to bronze Bob Hartley, the 1970s psychologist from The Bob Newhart Show. Created by Studio EIS in New York, the life-sized statue was commissioned by nostalgia cable channel TV Land and unveiled to the City of Chicago on July 27, 2004 by the company’s president Larry W. Jones. In November 2004, the statue was moved to Navy Pier.

Captain On The Helm

Captain On The Helm

The Captain On The Helm bronze statue is located just south of the entrance to Navy Pier. The statue was a gift from the Chicago Lodge of Shipmasters International and sculpted by Michael Martino. Dedicated on May 19, 2000, the plaque acknowledges: “To those courageous mariners who guided their ships through perilous waters, carrying cargo and people. Their contributions have been so much a part of our history. May they never be forgotten.” In front of the statue is engraved brickwork with the names of many legendary Captains as well as other contributors to the project.

Crack the Whip

Crack the Whip

Join in on the fun and pose with the children in the life-like Crack the Whip bronze sculpture! Created by world-renowned sculptor J. Seward Johnson, Jr., Crack the Whip was installed at Navy Pier in 1996. This whimsical depiction of eight children at play shows them holding hands and running in a semi-circle. A girl on one end appears to be falling down but is held up by the support of the others, who all lean back. Another girl has lost her shoe.

U.S.S. Chicago Anchor

U.S.S. Chicago Anchor

This 8-ton anchor installed on Navy Pier in 1995 was from the U.S.S. Chicago, the third ship to bear the name Chicago. Funded by the citizens of Chicago and completed in 1945, U.S.S. Chicago was classified as a heavy cruiser and later converted to a guided missile cruiser. She saw action in World War II, Korea and Vietnam and received several commendations before she was dismantled in 1984. In August 2012, former sailors who served aboard the U.S.S. Chicago and reconnected through social media, came to the Pier to restore the ship’s anchor back to its original color.

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