Jan Tichy, Solar Module, 2022. Image courtesy of the artist.

Jan Tichy: Reflectance

Feb 5th–May 29th 2022

Selected by Newcity as the #1 Design show to see in Chicagoland!

For related videos, activities, and more visit our Museum from Home page. For educators: request a Virtual Tour to receive lesson plans, instructional videos, and free materials for solar-based STEAM activities.

Measurements of reflecting light (reflectance) are important to create photographic images and to construct architectural spaces. It is used to produce exposures, prints, and other photographic techniques. Similarly, a deliberate amount of light can be reflected and refracted to illuminate a living space, especially by architects Keck & Keck, Mies van der Rohe, and others using glass structures.

The artist Jan Tichy invites visitors to explore the McCormick House as a living, breathing, and interactive architectural structure. With historical dishwasher racks and reflective glass from the House of Tomorrow, Tichy constructed a solar light space modulator (an ode to Moholy-Nagy’s experimentation at the Bauhaus). Powered by sun harvested from the windows, Tichy’s kinetic piece reanimates the domestic objects while reflecting the house’s light around the room.

For Tichy, the McCormick House presents a real solar architectural environment that was lived in. Light from the solar home allows material explorations as well as experiences that would have been felt by its former inhabitants. In fact, the first family of the McCormick House captured their lived experience and the house’s legacy through poetry, photography, film, and dance. Adding to their own original works, Tichy created a new photographic series to reflect other material imprints of their lives.

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