US: Art AIDS America Chicago – Dec 1st 2016 To April 2nd 2017


Tino Rodriguez ‘Eternal Lovers’  – Image courtesy Tino Rodriguez

Art AIDS America Chicago, an art exhibition underscoring the presence of HIV in American art, will take place from December 1, 2016 to April 2, 2017, at theAlphawood Gallery | 2401 North Halsted Street | Chicago, Illinois 60614 |

Admission is Free, but Timed Tickets are Required

This groundbreaking exhibition underscores the deep and unforgettable presence of HIV in American art. It introduces and explores the whole spectrum of artistic responses to AIDS, from the politically outspoken to the quietly mournful, surveying works from the early 1980s to the present.

Uncomfortable, wistfully beautiful,
and vitally important… —

Art AIDS America will culminate its national tour at the new Alphawood Gallery, established for this presentation by the Alphawood Foundation, at 2401 North Halsted Street (at Fullerton Avenue). The exhibition – opening on World AIDS Day, Thursday, December 1, and continuing through Sunday, April 2, 2017 – will be free and open to the public.

This temporary space has been created in a former bank by the Chicago-based Alphawood Foundation to bring the exhibition to its only Midwest venue.

Admission to the exhibition will be free with timed tickets. Prior to Chicago, Art AIDS America will have appeared at the Tacoma Art Museum in Washington State, the Zuckerman Museum in suburban Atlanta, and the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York City, generating considerable interest and attention at each location.

This is the first exhibition to explore how the AIDS crisis forever changed American art. Since the first reports of mysterious illnesses in the early 1980s, HIV and AIDS have touched nearly every American in some way, and operated as an undeniable, though often unacknowledged, force in shaping politics, medicine, culture and society. While acknowledging and honoring the enormous anger, loss and grief generated by the epidemic, the exhibition refutes the narrative that AIDS is only a tragic tangent in American art. Instead, Art AIDS America offers a story of resilience and beauty, revealed through the visual arts, and of the communities that gathered to bring hope and change in the face of a devastating disease.

The Chicago presentation of Art AIDS America will feature more than 100 significant contemporary works in a wide range of media – from oil on canvas and photography to three-dimensional installations and video.  The artists represented include Judy Chicago, Chloe Dzubilo, Karen Finley, Robert Gober, Félix González-Torres, Keith Haring, Jenny Holzer, Derek Jackson, Kia Labeija, Annie Leibovitz, Robert Mapplethorpe, Kiki Smith, Joey Terrill, David Wojnarowicz and Martin Wong.   Added to the travelling exhibition, exclusively for its Chicago presentation, will be works by a variety of other artists, among them major works by famed Chicago Imagist, Roger Brown.

“Art AIDS America represents a unique confluence of Alphawood Foundation’s core values,” said James D. McDonough, executive director of the Alphawood Foundation.   The Foundation has long been a supporter and advocate of the treatment and prevention of HIV and AIDS.  Our passion for this cause is born of experience with the epidemic on a personal level by many at the Foundation.  Equally, Alphawood has long supported the arts in Chicago and beyond.  The exhibition demonstrates how AIDS changed American art and, indeed, America itself.  It’s an important story that needs to be told.  We are proud to bring this show to Chicago and the Midwest.”

Visitor Information:
Starting December 1, Art AIDS America Chicago will be open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11am – 8pm, and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am -6pm. Admission to the Alphawood Gallery is free, however timed tickets are required to enter the exhibition. Visitors are strongly encouraged to reserve tickets online to ensure a specific entry date and time although walk-ups will be available on a limited basis.  Tickets will be accessible this Fall by visiting:

In Chicago, this exhibition is made possible by the Alphawood Foundation, a Chicago-based, grant-making private foundation working for an equitable, just and humane society. The exhibition will be presented in a new temporary space, the Alphawood Gallery, renovated for this purpose, located in the Foundation’s headquarters building.

Art AIDS America was organized by Tacoma Art Museum in partnership with The Bronx Museum of the Arts. The exhibition is co-curated by Jonathan David Katz, Director, Visual Studies Doctoral Program at the University at Buffalo (The State University of New York), and Rock Hushka, Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary and Northwest Art at Tacoma Art Museum. The national tour is supported by the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art and Gilead Sciences, Inc. The exhibition and catalogue have been made possible by support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.


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