Concrete Happenings Arts Lobby

Extended, January 10 through March 3, 2017 | Rockefeller
10 am through 4:30 pm Tuesday through Friday | weekends during event hours

From fall 2016 to spring 2017, a range of free, interdisciplinary programs across campus is engaging both scholarly and general audiences in the rich themes surrounding Concrete Happenings. Concrete Happenings invites art-lovers and car-lovers, artists and scholars, drivers and pedestrians to confront the power of public art—the strange power of a massive sculpture produced by Fluxus artist Wolf Vostell. In 1970, in Chicago, Vostell encased a Cadillac in concrete. The product of that “happening,” Concrete Traffic, was installed in the University of Chicago's Ellis Avenue parking garage this past September. It now serves as the provocation for a comprehensive suite of exhibitions and interactive public programs—performances, screenings, talks, art workshops, happenings—that offer unique opportunities to engage with a crucial art historical moment and movement, and to explore the intensities with which an artwork can form and transform its publics.

Harold Haydon, alumnus, professor, and stained glass artist, whose work adorns Rockefeller Chapel, was a contemporary to Wolf Vostell, and head of Midway Studios, the art center on campus in 1970, when Concrete Traffic arrived at the University. Letters documenting Haydon’s foresight in acknowledging the historical significance of Concrete Traffic, along with the gift arrangement between the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the University are now on view at Rockefeller, while documentary footage of the original installation of the sculpture on campus is exhibited in the lobby to orient chapel visitors to the Concrete Happenings events throughout the campus.

See the Concrete Happenings programming page for more!