Spectra, 2023

Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero are Chicago-based artists. After meeting in 1999 while studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, they formed Luftwerk Studio in 2007.   Their chosen name—a combination of the German words Luft (air) and Werk (work, artwork—is meant to emphasize both the ephemeral, immaterial properties of light and the material frameworks in which it takes shape and is experienced. The concept of Luftwerk has proven a conceptual touchstone for over twenty years of artistic collaboration.

Recent solo exhibitions of Bachmaier and Gallero’s work have been organized by the Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL (2022); Fosdick-Nelson Gallery, Alfred University, Alfred, NY (2022); Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, Nashville, TN (2022); Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA (2021); Museum für Gestaltung, Zürich (2020); Elmhurst Art Museum, Elmhurst, IL (2019); Cleve Carney Museum of Art, Glen Ellyn, IL (2017); Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL (2016); and Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago, IL (2015). They have also realized installation projects for significant architectural sites including the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Chicago, IL (2020); Barcelona Pavilion, Barcelona (2019); Farnsworth House, Plano, IL (2014); Ford Residence, Aurora, IL (2014); Millennium Park, Chicago, IL (2012); Fallingwater, Mill Run, PA (2011); Robie House, Chicago, IL (2010); and Netsch Residence, Chicago, IL (2019). The artists have realized numerous large-scale permanent public and private commissions in Atlanta, Calgary, Charlotte, Chicago, Harare, and Kansas City. Bachmaier and Gallero have been selected for residency programs at the Sustainability Lab at Bellevue University, Institute of Electronic Art at Alfred University, Loghaven, Montello Foundation, and Experimental Sound Studio, among others. They are the recipients of numerous awards, including those from the AIA Chicago, Graham Foundation, and Illinois Arts Council.

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