Sif Itona Westerberg: Twin Flame, Double Ruin

Opening: Friday, Feb 16, 2024 5 – 7 pm
Friday, Feb 16 – Apr 14, 2024

40 E. Erie
Nickerson Mansion
Chicago, IL 60611

This spring, the Driehaus Museum is proud to present the first solo US museum exhibition of Copenhagen-based artist Sif Itona Westerberg, featuring recent bronze and concrete sculptures that draw from popular mythological narratives in dialogue with the museum’s richly-ornamented 1883 Nickerson Mansion. Curated by Stephanie Cristello, Sif Itona Westerberg: Twin Flame, Double Ruin is presented as part of the Driehaus Museum’s contemporary art series, A Tale of Today, in which emerging artists build upon the immersive experience and cultural history of the Gilded Age building to expand our understanding of the world through the art, architecture, design. Sif Itona Westerberg: Twin Flame, Double Ruin is on view at the Driehaus Museum, 40 E. Erie, from February 15 to April 14, 2024. 

In Sif Itona Westerberg: Twin Flame, Double Ruin, Westerberg takes inspiration from the Ancient Greek myth of soulmates—a single body that was divided into two parts, fated to forever yearn and search for its reflection. The exhibition title borrows terminology from new age concepts of interpersonal connection, a ‘twin flame’ often described in psychology as akin to soulmates, which Westerberg contrasts with ideals of creation and metamorphoses through the double entendre of ‘ruin’ in reference to either disaster or the remnants of Classical artifacts.

Creating a language of hybrid forms, Westerberg transforms common industrial materials such as aerated concrete into delicate, sensitive surfaces engraved with the retellings of ancient lore. Using material to explore the technological advances of industrialization, as well as the disenchantment that replaced myth in the dawn of modern society, Westerberg’s work offers a deeper understanding of the Nickerson Mansion and the cultural and social ideals of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.

Westerberg’s work will be on view in the Driehaus Museum’s Second Floor galleries, and will include a site-specific installation in the stained-glass domed Maher Gallery. The exhibition also includes a gallery of works from the Museum’s permanent collection in response to themes in Westerberg’s work.

“Since its inception, A Tale of Today has provided artists the opportunity to delve into how the decorative and fine arts have influenced visual culture, and the world around us, beyond the institutional context of the white cube,” said Stephanie Cristello, Curator of Sif Itona Westerberg: Twin Flame, Double Ruin. “Sif Itona Westerberg’s work presents the next chapter in this innovative exhibition format, which engages with history while also foregrounding the present, centering the immersive experience of the Museum’s singular architecture and collection.”

“My practice draws a lot of inspiration from archaic mythologies and Classical art, so working in a building brimming with history, ornamentation, and craftsmanship is just extraordinary to me as an artist,” said Sif Itona Westerberg. “The fundamentally human experience that art has strived to express throughout the ages—and the craftsmanship, care, and precision that have resulted in works of art and architecture that have survived for centuries—always gives me hope. I am very grateful for this opportunity to work closely with the Driehaus Museum and Stephanie Cristello to bring the contemporary and the historic into dialogue with this show.” 

A Tale of Today, Sif Itona Westerberg: Twin Flame, Double Ruin, is generously supported by the Danish Arts Foundation, the Ny Carlsberg Foundation, and the Richard H. Driehaus Annual Exhibition Fund. 


About the Driehaus Museum

The Driehaus Museum engages and inspires the global community through exploration and ongoing conversations in art, architecture, and design of the late ninseteenth and early twentieth centuries. Its permanent collection and temporary exhibitions are presented in an immersive experience within the restored Samuel Mayo Nickerson Mansion, completed in 1883, at the height of the Gilded Age, and the soon-to-reopen Murphy Auditorium, built in 1926. The Museum’s collection reflects and is inspired by the collecting interests, vision, and focus of its founder, the late Richard H. Driehaus. For more information, visit and connect with the Museum onFacebook, Twitter, and Instagram.