Artistic Director of 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial Named

 John Hill
6. March 2018
Yesomi Umolu at the Chicago Cultural Center, the main venue for the Chicago Architecture Biennial (Photo: Andrew Bruah, courtesy the Chicago Architecture Biennial)
The Chicago Architecture Biennial and Mayor Rahm Emanuel have announced that Yesomi Umolu, Exhibitions Curator at the Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago, will serve as the Artistic Director of the third Chicago Architecture Biennial, taking place in late 2019.
The Biennial started in 2015 with two seasoned architecture curators, Joseph Grima and Sarah Herda, then moved on to a pair of architects, Sarah Johnston and Mark Lee, for its second edition. With today's announcement, the Biennial is moving on to a curator of art, a name not widely familiar in the world of architecture. But Yesomi Umolu isn't a stranger to architecture. She holds a degree in architectural design from The University of Edinburgh and, in her words, "spatial questions have always been an important consideration of my work with contemporary artists, architects, and urbanists from across the world."

The press release with the curator's quote also indicates:

In the coming months, Umolu will formalize and convene an international curatorial team of creative practitioners with strong knowledge of visual arts, architecture, and design practices globally. The members of the curatorial team will be announced this spring. Umolu’s vision for the next Chicago Architecture Biennial features the exploration of emerging practices and global locations that are developing new approaches to architecture, urbanism, and spatial practice. Through this process, she will use the Biennial as a forum to explore creative responses to shifting spatial conditions at local, regional, and international levels.​

Umolu was born in Lagos, Nigeria, was a resident of Great Britain, and has served as a curator at the Broad Art Museum in Michigan and the the Walker Art Center in Minnesota before her 2015 appointment at the Logan Center in Chicago. Umolu was selected by a committee made up of Biennial board members and its past past Artistic Directors, who looked at international candidates from a variety of disciplines

The third Chicago Architecture Biennial will run from 9 September 2019 to 5 January 2020.

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