Jump to content

Figures in the Field: Figurative Sculpture and Abstract Painting from Chicago Collections


Jeff Koons, Pink Panther, 1988. Porcelain, edition 1 of 3; 41 x 20 1/2 x 19 in. (104.1 x 52.1 x 48.3 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Gerald S. Elliott Collection, 1995.57

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago


Today, figurative art has reemerged with a very strong presence while non-representational abstract painting is less emphasized in the discourse of contemporary art. Figures in the Field is an exhibition that aims to reinvigorate the dialogue between these two different genres and traditional modes of creative production while questioning how they create meaning today.

The exhibition is based on the MCA Collection and features works dating from 1960s to the present, including: Figures in the Field includes sculptural works such as Jeff Koons's Pink Panther, Matthew Barney's The Cabinet of Frank Gilmore, Felix by Maurizio Cattelan, Tom Friedman's Untitled cardboard robot, David Hammons's Praying to Safety, as well as several important loans from other Chicago art collections including figurative sculptures by Stephan Balkenhol, Anne Chu, Juan Munoz, Ron Mueck, Cady Noland, Marc Quinn, Charles Ray, and Tony Tasset, among others. These will be juxtaposed with non-objective paintings by artists such as Josef Albers, Julia Fish, Gaylen Gerber, Peter Halley, Gary Hume, Imi Knoebel, Judy Ledgerwood, Sol Lewitt, Brice Marden, Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, Ad Reinhardt, Gerhard Richter, and paintings by a younger generation of artists including Michelle Grabner, Mark Grotjahn, Carrie Gundersdorf, Marie Krane Bergman, and Rebecca Morris.

The exhibition is cocurated by Manilow Senior Curator at Large Francesco Bonami and Assistant Curator Julie Rodrigues Widholm.


Official airline of the Museum of Contemporary Art.