Sabina Ott: who cares for the sky?

Hyde Park Art Center presents the most ambitious project to date by Sabina Ott in  who cares for the sky?, which challenges our understanding of the proverbial mountain in relation to human faith, perseverance and ability to achieve a higher knowledge.” With the assistance of Space Haus, a Chicago-based art,design, and engineering firm, Ott composed an 8,000-cubic-foot mountain out of  polystyrene, plywood, industrial spray foam and paint inspired by Gertrude Stein’s “The World is Round” (1938), the cultural icon’s only children’s book. The story follows a little girl, Rose, in her struggle to climb a difficult mountain in order to understand the world better from the top.

  • February 21, 2016 – May 1, 2016
  • Gallery 1

This exhibition is generously supported in part by:

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, Columbia College Chicago, and



Sabina Ott: Who cares for the sky?

Additional Artwork Provided By:

Nelly Agassi, Elizabeth Allen-Cannon, Joanne Aono, Kristine Aono, Claire Ashley, Joshua Aster, Karen Azarnia, Conrad Bakker, Brit Barton, Lynn Basa, Leslie Baum, Iris Bernblum, Deborah Boardman (courtesy of Sabina Ott), Adam Brooks, Judith Brotman, Jan Brugger, Tom Burtonwood, Robert Burnier, Paola Cabal, Kristin Calabrese, Kevin Carney, Diane Christiansen, Corinna Cowles, Andi Crist, Laura Davis, Makeba Kedem DuBose, Dana Duff, Meg Duguid, Jim Duignan, Jeanne Dunning, Assaf Evron, Victoria Fuller, Diana Gabriel, Judith Geichman, Rami George, Joan Giroux, Karolina Gnatowski, Zoe Gordon, Michelle Grabner, Macia Guerrero, Dan Gunn, Philip Hartigan, Cameron Harvey, Emily Hermant, Samantha Hill, Elisabeth Hogeman, Richard Holland, Holly Holmes, Joe Jeffers, Jenn Kaplan, Juneer Kibria, Julia Klein, Barbara Koenen, Anna Kunz, Rosabel Kurth, Lu Junxi, Jin Lee, Kelly Lloyd, Angela Lopez, Duncan Mackenzie & Joseph Trupia, Dana Major, Victoria Martinez,Jenna Mazza, Bobbi Meier, Matt Morris, Judith Mullen, Aubrey Ingmar Munson,  Meg Noe, Michelle Nordmeyer, Marlena Novak, Grace O’Brien, Josue Pellot, Tony Phillips, Lise Haller Baggensen, Caroline Picard, Mary Anna, Pomonis, Melissa Pokorny, Melissa Potter, Henri Preiss, Judith Raphael, Nina Rizzo, Eric Ruschman, Alison Ruttan, Luis Sahagun, Miriam Schaer, Mindy Rose Schwartz, Anna Showers-Cruser, Hardy Schlick, Peter Skarva, Susanne Slavick, Deb Sokolow, Edra Soto, Scott Stack, Naava Stein, Catherine Sullivan, Alex Tam, Selina Trepp, Lan Tuazon, Eden Unulata, Allison Wade, Morganne Wakefield, Michelle Wasson, Rhonda Wheatley, Fo Wilson and Joel Mercedes,  Paula Wilson, Scott Wolniak, and Shanna Zentner.

“I chose to focus my work on Stein’s tale in the hopes that the narrative’s innocence, persistence, fortitude and discovery will come through in the installation and connect with the Art Center’s multi-generational audience,” said the Jackman Goldwasser Resident Artist, Ott.

Similar to Ott’s previous installations, such as her installation last year at the Chicago Cultural Center, “here and there pink melon joy,” this mountain creates an immersive space inviting exploration. Visitors may enter the depths of the mountain via a tunnel filled with treasures that leads to a small cave, or climb a stairwell leading to the peak. The tunnels, caves, and grottos will be filled with sound, cocooning visitors in Ott’s creative world. Along the interior walls, a smaller installation of precious artworks by nearly 100 artists invited by Ott to participate are arranged and attached by Ott into the mountain. The mountain’s intricacies completely envelop the visitors and transform the main gallery.

who cares for the sky  also includes an ambient video installation to accompany the massive mountain sculpture. Ott collaborated with sound artist Joe Jeffers to produce a soundtrack for the installation.  A large-scale video work made with assistance from Jeroen Nelemans was projected on the Jackman Goldwasser Catwalk Gallery until 10 pm daily during the duration of the exhibition.


500 WORDS, Artforum

About Sabina Ott

Sabina Ott has been nationally recognized for her outstanding and broad range of work —from painting to installation to sculpture— including her central role in the art world as educator, curator and founder of Terrain Exhibitions (2012). She received a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2015/16 and recently completed a public art commission for the Chicago Transit Authority.

Exhibiting since 1985, Sabina Ott has participated in over 100 solo and group exhibitions in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Auckland, New Zealand; Melbourne, Australia; and many cities across the US. Her work resides in numerous museum collections including The Whitney Museum of American Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Oakland Museum of Art, and has been reviewed nationaly in Art in America, Art Forum, and The New York Times. Her work resides in numerous museum collections including The Whitney Museum of American Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Oakland Museum of Art, and has been reviewed in many publications including Art in America, Art Forum and The New York Times. Ott received a BFA and MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. She is currently represented by Aspect/Ratio in Chicago and Professor of Art at Columbia College Chicago.