Yesomi Umolu Selected as Artistic Director of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial

Yesomi Umolu Selected as Artistic Director of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial

The Chicago Architecture Biennial has announced the selection of writer and curator Yesomi Umolu as Artistic Director for the event’s 2019 edition.

Currently holding the position of Exhibitions Curator at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago, Umolu draws from her background in architectural design and curatorial studies in creating exhibitions that explore the politics of the built environment. Recent projects include Kapwani Kiwanga: The sum and its parts, The Land Grant: Forest Law, and The Museum of Non Participation: The New Deal.

Yesomi Umolu at the Chicago Cultural Center. Photo by Andrew Bruah, courtesy the Chicago Architecture Biennial

“I am honored to be invited to serve as Artistic Director of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial,” said Umolu. “Having my roots in the field of architecture, spatial questions have always been an important consideration of my work with contemporary artists, architects, and urbanists from across the world. I am excited to embark on the journey of engaging the city of Chicago and it publics, as well as visitors to Chicago from across the country and around the world, in these conversations.”

Building on the success of the Biennial’s first two editions, with her vision Umolu is seeking to expand the lens of discourse to target “emerging practices and global locations that are developing new approaches to architecture, urbanism, and spatial practice.” Through the selection of exhibitors, the Biennial will identify and question the shifting spatial conditions occurring at local, regional and international scales.

Jack Guthman, Chairman of the Biennial, said, “We are delighted that Yesomi Umolu will serve as the Artistic Director of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial. Her broad curatorial experience makes her ideally suited to build upon the critical acclaim accorded to our 2015 and 2017 Biennials by our dual constituencies—the architecture profession worldwide, as well as Chicagoans and visitors to our city.”

Umolu was appointed by a selection committee comprised of CAB board members and past Artistic Directors, including 2017 Directors Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee.

“Umolu’s curatorial practice, which boldly, yet elegantly, traverses the fields of art and architecture, makes her uniquely situated for success in this role,” said Johnston and Lee. “The Biennial is a complex and multifaceted platform for exploring both the history and present-day challenges in the field, and we eagerly await the outcomes of Umolu’s curatorial inquiry and exploration.”

The third edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial will run from September 19, 2019 to January 5, 2020. The event will again coincide with EXPO CHICAGO, and the main site for the Biennial will again be located at the Chicago Cultural Center.

News via Chicago Architecture Biennial

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Cite: Patrick Lynch. "Yesomi Umolu Selected as Artistic Director of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial" 06 Mar 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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