The Peninsula Chicago Announces a Contemporary Art Exhibition, "But I’m on The Guest List!," Curated by FLAG Art Foundation, Coinciding with EXPO Chicago

CHICAGO - The Peninsula Chicago is pleased to announce an exciting art exhibition, But I’m on The Guest List! curated by The FLAG Art Foundation which brings together a variety of contemporary artists featuring Jennifer Dalton, Elmgreen & Dragset, Ewan Gibbs, Awol Erizku, Josephine Meckseper, Tom Sachs, Cindy Sherman, Yuken Teruya and Chicago’s own Carlos Rolón. The selection of artworks playfully intervenes in the hotel’s beautiful public spaces, mingling form and function, high and low culture, and humorously nodding to the trappings of VIP status. “I’m delighted to present my recent work at The Peninsula Chicago in collaboration with The FLAG Art Foundation during EXPO CHICAGO,” says srtist Carlos Rolón. As a Chicago-based artist, it gives me great pride to introduce my new body of work in my hometown. The beautiful environment of The Peninsula will serve as the perfect backdrop,” he added.

This is the fourth consecutive year The Peninsula Chicago has hosted a contemporary art exhibition that coincides with EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art, the seventh edition of which will take place at Navy Pier, September 27 to 30, 2018. The installation is open to the public and will be displayed throughout the hotel on the ground level lobby and the 5th floor main lobby from September 22, 2018 through October 30, 2018, as part of a public art project. This exhibition is the latest project from The Peninsula Hotels’ ongoing commitment to present rotating art exhibitions of world-class contemporary art in the hotel’s public spaces.


About the Exhibition:

But I’m on The Guest List! is titled after artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset’s oversized VIP door, which sets the tone for a selection of artworks that will be displayed in The Peninsula Chicago’s opulent public spaces.

A special highlight is Chicago-based artist Carlos Rolón’s two site-specific installations, which extend his 24K gold leaf and oil painting, Gild the Lily (Decadence upon Decadence IV) 2017, into The Peninsula Chicago’s gilded public spaces. At the entrance, Rolón brings nature inside through an exuberant garden, created in collaboration with the hotel’s florist. Gilding the typically hidden building material of cinder blocks, serving as the structure for the vertical garden, reflects the artist’s self-described aesthetic of “blue collar baroque.” In the hotel’s main upper lobby, Rolón, a first-generation immigrant of Puerto Rican descent, presents an intimate Caribbean seating area titled Bochinche after a Spanish slang term for “gossip,” responding to the aesthetic beauty and functionality of the public/private space.

Social behavior is further explored in sculptures by Jennifer Dalton and Elmgreen & Dragset. Dalton’s dual gumball machines, printed with the messages “Tell Me Everything” and “Tell Me Nothing”, when positioned within the hotel context allude to the opportunities travel affords for anonymous escape or to spill secrets with strangers. Elmgreen & Dragset’s free-standing, slightly ajar VIP door entices interaction but denies reward, blurring the line between being welcomed and excluded.

A range of portraiture is on view from photographers Cindy Sherman and Awol Erizku, and master draftsman Ewan Gibbs, who meticulously portrays Chicago’s home-town heroes, including legendary Chicago Bull Michael Jordan. Sherman’s work from her Society Portraits series depicts what appears to be an affluent socialite with the tell-tale tanning lines of a woman of leisure. Erizku re-crafts copies of canonical paintings, here Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, c. 1486, and Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665, by placing the black female figure at the center of the exclusionary western conversation on beauty and desire.

The paradoxes of consumer culture and commercial display are explored in positioning luxury goods offered in the hotel alongside sculptural works by Josephine Meckseper, Tom Sachs, and Yuken Teruya. Meckseper’s coolly-lit vitrine combines photography, painting, and mass-produced objects in a setting that uses the language of luxury advertisements and department store windows to create a cinematic, self-contained world. Yuken Teruya combines the detritus of urban life with traditional Japanese craft techniques in his poetic works, transforming high-end shopping bags into sculptural stages for his miniature windows onto the natural world. Displayed in one of the hotel’s lobby vitrines, Tom Sachs describes his handmade, plywood version of Hermès’s iconic Kelly bag as “sampling capitalist culture, remixing, dubbing and spitting it back out again, so that the results are transformed and transforming.”

Maria Razumich-Zec, Regional Vice President and General Manager of The Peninsula Chicago says, “We are delighted to partner with FLAG Art Foundation on their 10th anniversary to showcase a collection of unique artwork in a special exhibit that coincides with EXPO Chicago. We are especially pleased to feature Chicago native, Carlos Rolón in this exhibit. Carlos’ art is vibrant and uplifting. His art greets guests at the ground level entrance with an unexpected display of gold-gilded cinderblocks topped with plants and then on the main lobby level, his work transforms an alcove seating area into a momentary respite and retreat.

An ‘Artist in Residence’ program has also been implemented in the area adjacent to Z Bar, the hotel’s new rooftop venue. Chicago photographer and artist, Lincoln Schatz’s images of forests and nature grace this area and set the tone for the transition to the new rooftop setting.”

“We are incredibly grateful for our extensive partnership with The Peninsula Chicago as both our Official Hotel Sponsor and for their ongoing commitment to presenting international contemporary artwork to align with our exposition,” said EXPO CHICAGO President | Director Tony Karman. “This year’s collaboration with the FLAG Art Foundation beautifully celebrates their mission to encourage greater appreciation of contemporary art among a diverse audience,” he added. 


The Peninsula Hotels Supports Public Art Initiatives

The Peninsula Hotels continues its ongoing support of innovative public art around the world, by partnering with art museums, galleries and private collectors to enable guests to enjoy pioneering works by established masters and emerging artists. Each hotel has committed to supporting the arts, including a pioneering partnership with The Peninsula Hong Kong and the UK’s Royal Academy of Arts, an artist-in-residency program for emerging contemporary artists at The Peninsula Beijing, and a rotating collection of contemporary artwork on display at The Peninsula New York and art-related Peninsula Academy programs in each hotel. This is the fourth year The Peninsula Chicago has presented an art installation in conjunction with EXPO CHICAGO. The Peninsula Chicago’s partnership with FLAG Art Foundation is a natural extension of The Peninsula Hotels’ successful art initiatives around the world. Located on the “Magnificent Mile” at 108 East Superior Street, The Peninsula Chicago is a 339-guest room hotel and features three distinctive restaurants, a new rooftop bar and a world-class spa.


About The FLAG Art Foundation

The FLAG Art Foundation, founded in 2008 by art patron Glenn Fuhrman, is a non-profit contemporary art institution that encourages the appreciation of contemporary art among a diverse audience. FLAG presents four to six exhibitions a year that include artworks by international established and emerging artists, borrowed from a variety of sources. FLAG invites a broad range of creative individuals to curate exhibitions and works in-depth with artists to provide curatorial support and a platform to realize their own solo exhibitions.

 FLAG’s innovative approach to foster dialogue around contemporary art includes producing artist talks, artist-led workshops, and exhibition tours for school and museum groups. Based in the heart of Manhattan’s Chelsea art district, FLAG and all of its related program are free and open to the public.



EXPO CHICAGO 2018, The International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art, is presented by Art Expositions, LLC at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall, hosting more than 135 leading International exhibitors presented alongside one of the highest quality platforms for global contemporary art and culture. Entering its seventh year as a leading international art fair, EXPO CHICAGO offers diverse programming including /Dialogues, IN/SITU, IN/SITU Outside, EXPO VIDEO, the Curatorial Forum, the Art Critics Forum, EXPO Sound and OVERRIDE | A Billboard Project. In addition, EXPO CHICAGO continues to publish THE SEEN, Chicago's International Journal of Contemporary & Modern Art. Under the leadership of President and Director Tony Karman, EXPO CHICAGO draws upon the city’s rich history as a vibrant international cultural destination, while highlighting the region’s contemporary arts community and inspiring its collector base.


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About The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels Limited (HSH)

Incorporated in 1866 and listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (00045), HSH is the holding company of a Group which is engaged in the ownership, development and management of prestigious hotel, commercial and residential properties in key locations in Asia, the United States and Europe, as well as the provision of tourism and leisure, club management and other services. The Peninsula Hotels portfolio comprises The Peninsula Hong Kong, The Peninsula Shanghai, The Peninsula Beijing, The Peninsula Tokyo, The Peninsula New York, The Peninsula Chicago, The Peninsula Beverly Hills, The Peninsula Paris, The Peninsula Bangkok, and The Peninsula Manila. Projects under development include The Peninsula London, The Peninsula Yangon and The Peninsula Istanbul. The property portfolio of the Group includes The Repulse Bay Complex, The Peak Tower and St. John’s Building in Hong Kong; The Landmark in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and 21 avenue Kléber in Paris, France. The clubs and services portfolio of the Group includes The Peak Tram in Hong Kong; Thai Country Club in Bangkok, Thailand; Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel, California; Peninsula Clubs and Consultancy Services, Peninsula Merchandising, and Tai Pan Laundry in Hong Kong.