Driehaus Museum's contemporary exhibition series continues with 'Twin Flame, Double Ruin'

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Driehaus Museum's contemporary exhibition series continues with 'Twin Flame, Double Ruin'
Sif Itona Westerberg, accendance, 2023. Polished bronze and Fermacell, 141 x 117 x 50 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Gether Contemporary, Copenhagen.



CHICAGO, IL.- Starting today, the Driehaus Museum presents the fourth iteration of its contemporary art series A Tale of Today with the first solo U.S. museum exhibition of Copenhagen-based artist Sif Itona Westerberg. Sif Itona Westerberg: Twin Flame, Double Ruin will be on view at the Driehaus Museum, 40 E. Erie St., Chicago, from February 16 to April 14, 2024.

Curated by Stephanie Cristello, Sif Itona Westerberg: Twin Flame, Double Ruin takes inspiration from the Ancient Greek myth of soulmates—a single body that was divided into two parts, fated to forever yearn and search for its reflection. The exhibition title borrows terminology from concepts of interpersonal connection, a ‘twin flame’ often described in modern psychology as akin to soulmates. Westerberg contrasts ideals of creation and metamorphoses with the idea of ‘ruin,’ a double entendre in reference to either disaster, or the remnants of Classical artifacts.

“Our A Tale of Today series fulfills the Museum’s mission to help audiences understand the relevance of the past —particularly the history of the Gilded Age through different lenses, and similarly to see the present with new eyes,” said Driehaus Museum Executive Director Lisa Key. “The program has presented exhibitions with such notable artists as Yinka Shonibare CBE, Nate Young, and Theodora Allen, and the Museum is excited to continue this series by bringing Westerberg’s visionary work to U.S. audiences for the first time. These objects directly engage with the Museum’s historic environment, allowing visitors to appreciate the enduring appeal of the Nickerson Mansion’s remarkable interior art and design.”

Creating a language of hybrid forms, Westerberg transforms common industrial materials such as aerated concrete into delicate, sensitive surfaces engraved with the retelling of mythological narratives relevant to the current moment. By bringing classical influences together with modern materials, Westerberg’s work offers a deeper understanding of the aesthetics of the Nickerson Mansion and the cultural and social ideals of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. At the same time, these works explore the replacement of mythological origin stories with new scientific understandings at the dawn of modern society.

Westerberg’s work will be on view in the Driehaus Museum’s Second Floor galleries, and will include a site-specific installation in the stained-glass domed Maher Gallery. The exhibition also includes a gallery of works from the Museum’s permanent collection in response to themes in Westerberg’s work.

“Since its inception, A Tale of Today has provided artists the opportunity to delve into how the decorative and fine arts have influenced visual culture, and the world around us, beyond the institutional context of the white cube,” said Stephanie Cristello, curator of Sif Itona Westerberg: Twin Flame, Double Ruin. “Westerberg’s work presents the next chapter in this innovative exhibition format, which engages with history while also foregrounding the present, centering the immersive experience of the Museum’s singular architecture and collection.”

“My practice draws a lot of inspiration from archaic mythologies and Classical art, so working in a building brimming with history, ornamentation, and craftsmanship is just extraordinary to me as an artist,” said Sif Itona Westerberg. “The fundamentally human experience that art has strived to express throughout the ages—and the craftsmanship, care, and precision that have resulted in works of art and architecture that have survived for centuries—always gives me hope. I am very grateful for this opportunity to work closely with the Driehaus Museum and Stephanie Cristello to bring the contemporary and the historic into dialogue with this show.”

The exhibition is timed to coincide with EXPO Chicago, during which time the Museum will also host additional artist talks, VIP experiences, and curator-led tours. A Tale of Today, Sif Itona Westerberg: Twin Flame, Double Ruin, is generously supported by the Danish Arts Foundation, the Ny Carlsberg Foundation, the Richard H. Driehaus Annual Exhibition Fund, and Dirk Denison and David Salkin.

Sif Itona Westerberg (b. 1985, Denmark) lives and works in Copenhagen. She graduated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2014. Westerberg has had solo exhibitions including Immemorial at ARoS Aarhus Art Museum (Denmark, 2021), Fountain at Tranen (Denmark, 2019), and at Gether Contemporary (Denmark, 2020, 2022), among others. She has participated in group exhibitions at Kasmin (2023), Arken Museum of Modern Art (2022), Den Frie Art Center (2021), Bornholms Kunstmuseum (2021), Malm÷ Art Museum (2020), Oluf H°st Museet (2020), Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (2020), and the ARoS Triennial (2017). Her works are in the collections of ARoS Aarhus Art Museum (Denmark), the Malm÷ Art Museum (Sweden), and Ny Carlsberg Fondet (Denmark). She is represented by Gether Contemporary in Copenhagen. This is her first solo exhibition in the United States.










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