Derrick Adams’s unicorns are taking over Chicago


Brooklyn-based multi-disciplinary artist Derrick Adams, who joined the roster of global mega-gallery Gagosian last month, is making his presence known throughout Chicago during Expo Art Week.

In addition to a delightful interactive installation in the Expo Chicago fair’s public art programme, Adams is presenting a newly commissioned projection for Art on theMart, which bills itself as the largest permanent digital art programme in the world (14 April-5 July). Presented in partnership with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events,the installation involves projecting contemporary art across the 2.5-acre façade of the biggest privately held commercial building in the US, the hulking Art Deco Merchandise Mart Plaza along the Chicago River.

Derrick Adams, Funtime Unicorn–Ruby Rides Through Four Seasons, 2023 Courtesy of ART on THE MART. © ART on THE MART

In tandem with the new projection, four editions of Adams’s Funtime Unicorn (2022)—interactive sculptures based on spring-mounted children’s playground furniture—will be on view (13 April-25 June) near the main entrance to Expo Chicago’s venue, Navy Pier, in Polk Bros Park. Each unicorn sculpture embodies the exuberant respite of unencumbered Black joy through bold design and playground functionality. “In each one of these sculptures, my hope is that young Black boys and girls have a chance to laugh and bounce, climb and lean,” Adams said in a statement.


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