Doing It for the Graham

Graham Foundation announces 2018 organizational grants

Architecture International Midwest News West
Willard Martin's Study for an Underground Restaurant from 1973. the subject of one of this year's Graham Foundation grantees. (Graham Foundation)
Willard Martin's Study for an Underground Restaurant from 1973. the subject of one of this year's Graham Foundation grantees. (Graham Foundation)

The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts has once again provided funding to foster experimentation, creativity, and discourse in architecture. The 2018 organizational grantees join a worldwide network of individuals and institutions that the Chicago-based Graham Foundation has generously funded over the course of its 62-year history. Individual grantees were announced in March.

$609,500 in new grants will be distributed across 53 grantees, funding new media works, site-specific installations, films, exhibits, and publications.

Proposals are multifaceted and cover a broad range of approaches to the study and consideration of the built environment. While educational institutions and nonprofits make up some of the familiar names, other grantees build on existing inertia, and still more explore radical ideas.

Several grantees are set to explore the complex relationship between architecture and cultural life, including Jamaican-born architect Sekou Cooke, who through the Center for Architecture will explore the relationship between hip-hop and architecture as a discipline. MK Gallery, through Milton Keynes, will focus on how land ownership and landscape design define leisure activities. Julia Fish’s Bound by Spectrum at the DePaul Art Museum will present a personal take on vernacular architecture seen through works inspired by the artist’s home in Chicago.

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), Southern California Institute of Architecture, and Columbia University are among some of the more well-known educational institution grantees. Columbia intends to use the award money to produce a publication on the architecture of incarceration, while SAIC, along with the University of Chicago, will continue to expand their vision of what it means to be a citizen via the 16th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale.  UNAM will analyze Mexico’s Olympic architecture through print media.

Architectural history has a strong presence as well, with exhibitions planned to dig further into the work of Portland architect Willard Martin, and Eileen Gray, a pioneer of modernist design.  London’s Whitechapel Gallery looks back on itself with a critical analysis of its landmark 1956 exhibition This is Tomorrow.

Both the Graham Foundation itself and critic Mimi Zeiger are planning site-specific installations, with Zeiger curating an exhibition at Rudolph Schindler’s Kings Road House for the MAK Center for Art and Architecture. A series at the historic Madlener House, the home of the Graham Foundation, presents the work of Lampo, one of music’s leading experimentalists.

More information on grantees can be found on the Graham Foundation website.

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