Fantastic Architecture: Vostell, Fluxus, and the Built Environment

January 22 – March 17, 2017

Taking its title and inspiration from the seminal publication Fantastic Architecture (1970), edited by Wolf Vostell and Dick Higgins and published by Something Else Press, this exhibition presented various approaches to architecture, urban space, and the built environment within an international community of artists associated with Fluxus and conceptual art in the 1960s and 1970s. Fantastic Architecture was presented in conjunction with the re-siting, following a major conservation treatment, of Wolf Vostell’s Concrete Traffic (1970), a monumental event-sculpture in the University of Chicago’s Campus Art Collection. The exhibition contextualized Concrete Traffic in relation to Vostell’s other related works from the period, including photomontage proposals for alterations to architectural and urban spaces and event scores for happenings intended for specific cities, as well as the work of his artistic peers and interlocutors. In Europe and the United States alike, the postwar period saw massive transformations of the urban landscape, the construction and expansion of freeway systems, and the rise of automobile culture, and artists of the time responded to these developments in a variety of ways. Like its eponymous exemplar, the exhibition embraced the porousness and intellectual ferment of the experimental art world of the time, a context in which forms and concepts circulated among an international community of artists. The exhibition included works by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Douglas Huebler, Allan Kaprow, Shigeko Kubota, Rosemary Mayer, Jim McWilliams, and Wolf Vostell.

Curated by Jacob Proctor
Presented with additional support from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

Photo Gallery

Fantastic Architecture: Vostell, Fluxus, and the Built Environment: Jan 22–March 17, 2017

Media Coverage

"Exhibition Review: Fantastic Architecture," Art in America, April 25, 2017. 

"Vostell, Fluxus and the Art of Protest," Chicago Tribune, February 8, 2017. 

"Concrete Car Sparks Dialogue on Public Art," UChicago News, January 26, 2017. 

"Winter Preview: 10 Art Shows Not to Miss," Chicago Tribune, December 28, 2016. 

"Vostell’s Concrete Traffic Sculpture Cited Among 'Best Art of 2016,'" Chicago Tribune, December 9, 2016. 

"Wolf Vostell’s Concrete Happenings wins Graham Foundation grant," Graham Foundation, August 24, 2016.