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Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity
Ziad Antar, "Burj Khalifa Expired," 2010. Courtesy of the artist and Selma Feriani Gallery.

When you live in Chicago, it?s a phrase you hear so often, you might cease to register its significance: ?Birthplace of the modern skyscraper.?  

But our city did indeed shape the world?s skylines with early breakthroughs in load-bearing structural frames. Buildings have been going up and up ever since, and the Museum of Contemporary Art is celebrating the myth and message of those awe-inspiring forms in a just-opened exhibit, ?Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity.?

The stunning centerpiece of the show is Polish artist Monika Sosnowska?s steel sculpture in the form of a crumbling fire escape that has been suspended from the ceiling of the museum?s dramatic four-story atrium. You?ll also see Andy Warhol?s 1964 film of the Empire State Building, Catherine Yass?s video of high-wire artist Didier Pasquette and works by close to 50 other international artists. A section of the exhibit titled ?Vulnerability of Icons? is poignant in its view of our post-9/11 relationship to these monuments of power.

The next time we?re walking among the Loop?s towering giants, we?ll be gazing up in a whole new light.

MCA Chicago, 220 E. Chicago Ave.; 312-397-4010 or mcachicago.org

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