Art on theMart will project ‘Obama Portraits’ and ‘Frida Kahlo’ this summer

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Obama still looms large in Chicago’s memory, but for Art on theMart, how about 18 stories high? The popular video projection series on the south wall of theMart, as Chicago’s Merchandise Mart is now called, announced two new additions to its summer program: “The Obama Portraits” beginning in June and “Frida Kahlo” in July.

With video art projected nightly on the building’s massive 2.5 acres of facade overlooking the Chicago River, Art on theMart first launched in September 2018 and has has remained lit, on and off, during the pandemic, most recently with a spring series of images titled “Astrographics.”

“The Obama Portraits” (June 17-Sept. 16) was created in conjunction with the Art Institute of Chicago’s exhibition of the same name (running there June 18-Aug. 15). The video version with a musical score and additional images will animate portraits of former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama by artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively.

“Frida Kahlo” (July 5-Sept. 16) is inspired by the “Frida Kahlo: Timeless” exhibition at the Cleve Carney Museum of Art and the McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage (June 5-Sept. 6). The video piece will feature several of Kahlo’s most recognizable works, including “Self Portrait with Small Monkey” (1945) and “Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress” (1926). According to the announcement, it will be accompanied by an orchestral score from Mexican composer Arturo Márquez, recorded by New Philharmonic, also of the College of DuPage.

Projections will be shown nightly at 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The free shows are best viewed from the Chicago Riverwalk and Wacker Drive between Wells Street and Franklin Street; artonthemart.com

dgeorge@chicagotribune.com

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