The Elks National Memorial, located at 2750 N. Lakeview Avenue on Chicago's near-north side (photo courtesy of Chicago Sculpture International). 

Chicago Sculpture International (CSI) will present its 2014 Biennial “Invoking the Absence,” an exciting juried exhibition curated by Lucas Cowan, May 17–October 26. Housed in The Elks National Memorial, (2750 N. Lakeview Ave.) a domed, Beaux-Arts structure facing Lake Michigan, the biennial is the first art exhibition to take place in building’s history. Echoing the war memorial’s message of immeasurable loss, “Invoking the Absence” features works by 22 sculptors examining artistic notions of emptiness and the ever-present void in space and time, through formal order and creative conflict.

The 2014 Biennial kicks off CSI’s 10th anniversary year of supporting Chicago-based artists through the advancement and appreciation of sculpture as a vital contribution to society through education, exhibitions and dialogue.    

Alongside the memorial’s own heroes and friezes, carved in 1926, “Invoking the Absence” includes contemporary sculptures by Sharon Bladholm, Suzanne Cohan-Lange, Peter Dallos, DOEprojeckts, Christina M. Murphy and Toby Zallman. 

“This exhibition shows the breadth and diversity of Chicago sculptors working today,” said artist and CSI President Eric Stephenson. “We are honored to be the first organization to host an art exhibition in such a powerful, historic space that celebrates sculpture through its interior and exterior architecture.” 

Free and open to the public, the exhibition will open with a reception on May 17, from 5-8 p.m. For more information, visit

Chicago Sculpture International Presenting 2014 Biennial with Juried Exhibition