Ground Floor, an ongoing Biennial exhibition since 2010, brings together work by Chicago’s most promising emerging talent. The exhibition offers a single destination to discover artists, who have recently graduated (in 2019 and 2020) from one of Chicago’s five outstanding MFA programs and whose work demands to be seen and supported. Ground Floor presents art made in the past couple of years in hopes to investigate and articulate conceptual and stylistic trends coming out of Chicago art schools right now. Many of the artists in this year’s exhibition came to Chicago from other cities and countries, attracted by the city’s reputation as a hotbed of experimentation in art and activism. Ground Floor—so named because it provides a crucial platform for young artists and expands the entire lower level of the Art Center, gives exhibiting artists a major public venue in which to display their works at a critical juncture in their careers, helping to build, support and ensure a strong and vibrant community of artists in Chicago. This year, the exhibition will present for the first time in person the thesis work of ten 2020 graduates, whose thesis exhibitions were largely presented online because of the ongoing pandemic.
The 2020 Ground Floor exhibition is the sixth iteration of this biennial exhibition at the Art Center.