Celebrating Virgil Abloh

More than 650 guests attend ArtEdge at the MCA, a celebration of the museum's newest exhibition—Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech.”

By Melinda Sheckells

Photos by Jeremy Lawson

August 19, 2019 10:00 AM

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The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago hosted more than 650 guests at its ArtEdge Gala to toast the new exhibition Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech.” Notable names such as Chance the Rapper, Takashi Murakami and Michael Burke were welcomed into an immersive evening of urban ruins inspired by Abloh’s signature style. Beginning by labelling themselves as either “Fashion Tourists” or “Fashion Purists,” the city’s art devotees ascended via freight elevator to a cocktail reception in the Kovler Atrium and took part in a special viewing of “Figures of Speech” on the fourth floor. Surrounded by the exhibition’s signature orange and white, guests were then guided to the museum parking garage for dinner and later back up to the museum for an after-party performance by singer and songwriter Dev Hynes.

The event raised $2 million to provide workshops and creative spaces for Chicago youth. “The success of this year’s ArtEdge Gala celebrating our summer blockbuster, Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech”, will have a tremendous impact on our ability to reach the youth of Chicago, who we hope will be influenced, inspired and encouraged to create as a result of this exhibition,” says MCA Pritzker Director Madeleine Grynsztejn. “We are particularly grateful for the efforts of our co-chairs, Dr. Julius Few, D’Rita and Robbie Robinson, and Mary Ann and Ben Weprin, and applaud their energy, determination and support, which was critical for making the evening a success.”

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Ian Smith, Dev Hynes, and Eva Tolkin
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Michael Darling, Madeleine Grynsztejn and Mike O’Grady
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Chance the Rapper
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Julianna Zobrist
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Ellen-Blair Chu and Matthew Yates
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Christine Centenera and Joel Edgerton
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Dev Hynes
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Anne Kaplan, Beth Karmin, and Sara Albrecht
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Sharon Johnston, Mark Lee and Helen Zell
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Virgil Abloh, Ben Weprin, Robbie Robinson and Dr. Julius Few