New Permanent Commission by Luftwerk and New Work by William J. O'Brien at THE COLLECTION

Spectra by Luftwerk

Via PR

THE COLLECTION: Where Art Meets Fashion, the multifaceted contemporary art program located within Fashion Outlets of Chicago with support from the Village of Rosemont, today announced the unveiling of the program’s latest site-specific installation, Spectra, by celebrated Chicago-based collaborative Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero, known collectively as Luftwerk. The permanent commission debuts alongside THE COLLECTION’s new rotating exhibition, Healing Machines, featuring three newly installed works by Chicago artist William J. O’Brien.

“These visually exciting works encapsulate the dynamic, ever-evolving nature of fashion and style, and make the perfect additions to THE COLLECTION,” said Katie Walsh, Senior Marketing Manager at Fashion Outlets of Chicago. “Further illustrating our commitment to showcasing world-class public art throughout the center, we’re thrilled to present Luftwerk’s new permanent commission, alongside William J. O’Brien’s rotating exhibition series, to Fashion Outlets of Chicago shoppers.”

Spectra by Luftwerk

Luftwerk’s interest in the basic relationship between color and light, and how light and darkness determine how our eyes perceive color, serve as the driving forces behind the creation of Spectra, THE COLLECTION’s newest permanent commission. Now on view on Level One of the shopping center near Saks Off Fifth, Spectra serves as an oculus for endless possibilities of color perception. Mounted directly on the wall, this large-scale reimagined color wheel mixes primary colors into a canvas for light.

“We use light as the medium to shift your perception, to change the surface, whether it's a material, an organic or an architectural surface. We use light to shift colors and dimensionality, to create immersion, to create experience,” said Bachmaier. “Spaces become canvases for light. And color now is the canvas for light. They're partners and collaborate with each other. You have one additive; you have one subtractive. We are interested in fusing the physical and ephemeral qualities of color.”

Luftwerk’s work explores the ineffable, subjective experience of the natural world, transforming raw matter and scientific data into abstracted, atmospheric installations that offer a space to encounter the immaterial poetics of nature. While realizing projects in a variety of mediums, the throughline in Bachmaier and Gallero’s artistic practice has been the use of color, light and space, not simply as abstract concepts or optical effects, but as physical material, rooted in the natural world and shaped by the complicated, human-made histories of science.

Luftwerk is represented by Volume Gallery, Chicago.

Healing Machines by William J. O’Brien

Created exclusively for Fashion Outlets of Chicago, artist William J. O’Brien’s Healing Machines encompasses works in THE COLLECTION’s rotating exhibition and features a wide range of collaged and hand-drawn elemental sculptures that come together to form moveable chandeliers and lamps. Titled Zoetrope, Amethyst & Plum Galaxy and Trinkets, Knickknacks & Whatnots, the installations will fill THE COLLECTION’s three rotating cases located throughout Level Two of the shopping center. The intention of these pieces is to create temporary and moveable imagery for the mall audience that explores color, pattern, light, shadows and luminance.

A Chicago-based artist, O’Brien works in multiple media including drawing, painting, ceramic, metal sculpture, installation and assemblage. Inspired by modernism and the history of material usage of Outsider art, O’Brien’smultidisciplinary practice is a search for identity and genuine expression through material and process.

Healing Machines will be on view at Fashion Outlets of Chicago through June 1, 2024.

For more information on THE COLLECTION and Fashion Outlets of Chicago please visit