Once A Storefront, The Ukrainian Institute Of Modern Art Now Gives Artists An Airy Gallery Space


One of the best things about the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s annual Open House Chicago event is its variety. This week Chicago Architecture features two sites from the 2015 OHC that illustrate the wide range of structures open to the public for tours.

Later this week, we’ll look at the Inter-Continental Hotel on the Magnificent Mile. Today, let’s venture a bit west to Ukrainian Village, and the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art at 2320 West Chicago Avenue.

The building housing the Institute was once a retail space and the façade still bears stone carvings from the original design. Local legend Stanley Tigerman handled the redesign of the space in 1977 to convert it to a gallery.

Inside, the gallery has an openness geared toward modern art, and the works on display represent both Ukrainian artists and other nationalities.

Lialia, chairman of the art committee at the Ukrainian Institute, with a unique computer-generated artwork.

Lialia, chairman of the art committee at the Ukrainian Institute, with a unique computer-generated artwork.

One particularly unusual work on display by Jean-Pierre Hebert is called “Six Outcomes for Four Palettes of Change.” Stand across the room and the pastel colors on the canvas look like an Impressionistic version of a nature scene. But stand up close to it, and you’ll realize this was a computer-generated piece of art, using digitized design and inkjet printer on Torinoko paper.

A number of works of computer-designed art are on display at the Institute, all created by artists who are a bit older than what you might expect for this medium: they include a 92-year-old, an 87-year-old and a husband and wife team in their 60s.

Bill Motchan

Author: Bill Motchan

Bill Motchan is a writer and photographer, and a former resident of the West Loop. He can be reached at bill@ChicagoArchitecture.org.

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