CITY SELF

Images

  • A black-and-white photo of the Chicago skyline from the north shore of Lake Michigan is overlaid with rectangular color image fragments of the same view. The color images add and subtract people from the lakefront view.
A black-and-white photo of the Chicago skyline from the north shore of Lake Michigan is overlaid with rectangular color image fragments of the same view. The color images add and subtract people from the lakefront view.
Kenneth Josephson, Chicago, 1972, 1972. Gelatin silver print and postcard collage; 4 ¾ x 7 in. (12.1 × 17.8 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of the Foster Charitable Trust in memory of Reuben A. Foster, 1983.37. © 1972 Kenneth Josephson. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Catherine Opie, Untitled 5 (Chicago) from American Cities series, 2004–05. Iris print, edition 1 of 5; 14 prints, each: 22 × 46 ½ in. (55.9 × 11.8 cm), framed: 27 × 51 ½ x 1 ½ in. (68.6 × 130.8 × 3.8 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Joseph and Jory Shapiro Fund by exchange, 2006.2.11. © 2004–05 Catherine Opie. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Catherine Opie, Untitled 5 (Chicago) from American Cities series, 2004–05. Iris print, edition 1 of 5; 14 prints, each: 22 × 46 ½ in. (55.9 × 11.8 cm), framed: 27 × 51 ½ x 1 ½ in. (68.6 × 130.8 × 3.8 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Joseph and Jory Shapiro Fund by exchange, 2006.2.12. © 2004–05 Catherine Opie. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Andreas Gursky, Chicago Board of Trade II, 1999. Chromogenic development print mounted on Plexiglas with artist’s frame, edition 3 of 6; 81 ½ x 132 5/8 in. (207 × 336.9 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of the Joseph and Jory Shapiro Fund, 1999.59. © 1999 Andreas Gursky. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Catherine Opie, Untitled 5 (Chicago) from American Cities series, 2004–05. Iris print, edition 1 of 5; 14 prints, each: 22 × 46 ½ in. (55.9 × 11.8 cm), framed: 27 × 51 ½ x 1 ½ in. (68.6 × 130.8 × 3.8 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Joseph and Jory Shapiro Fund by exchange, 2006.2.6. © 2004–05 Catherine Opie. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Enoc Perez, Marina Towers, Chicago, 2012. Oil on canvas; 110 × 90 in. (279.4 × 228.6 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of a private collection, 2013.19. © 2012 Enoc Perez. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Sarah Morris, still from Chicago, 2011. ProRes 422; 68 minutes, 11 seconds. Courtesy of Sarah Morris and Parallax.
John Cage, A Dip in the Lake: Ten Quicksteps, Sixty-two Waltzes, and Fifty-six Marches for Chicago and Vicinity, 1978. Felt-tip pen on map; 53 ½ x 41 ½ in. (135.9 × 105.4 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, restricted gift of the MCA Collectors Group, Men’s Council, and Women’s Board, and National Endowment for the Arts Purchase Grant, 1982.19. © 1993 John Cage Trust. Photo © MCA Chicago.
Sarah Morris, Chicago, 2013. 10-color, silk-screened paper; 69 5/16 × 47 ¼ in. (176 × 120 cm), Courtesy of Sarah Morris and M/M Paris.

About

What does Chicago look like through the outsider eyes of New York–based painter and filmmaker Sarah Morris? Chicago is Morris’s 10th film and part of an ongoing series of city portraits. Set to a hypnotic electronic score by British artist Liam Gillick, Morris’s film Chicago (2011) pays homage to the quintessential American city. Morris paints a panoramic picture of Chicago’s emblematic built environment, while her signature telescopic zooms frequently pierce the city’s well-tended surface to reveal something altogether less planned, manicured, and anesthetized—and therefore more familiar. These unscrupulous close-ups and subtly spying glances compound the sensatio

The American premiere of Chicago is the touchstone for this display of works from the MCA Collection—both by Chicago artists and by outsiders like Morris—that similarly hold a mirror to the museum’s hometown. A certain measure of alienation permeates much of the work of Andreas Gursky, and Catherine Opie, who are among the better-known artists in the “outsider” category, while artists Jonas Dovydenas, Kenneth Josephson, Jason Lazarus, and Bob Thall offer a more sympathetic or relaxed “insider” view. The exhibition also includes works by Keith Morrison and Thomas Struth from neighboring Chicago collections.

CITY SELF is organized by Dieter Roelstraete, Manilow Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

To complement the artists’ visions of Chicago presented in CITY SELF, MCA has partnered with WBEZ (Chicago Public Media) to offer selected stories from the Curious City series. Curious City researches audience questions and then presents findings on air and on online. For CITY SELF, topics of interest about Chicago have been matched to artworks that explore similar themes.

Funding

Support for CITY SELF is generously provided by the Pritzker Traubert Collection Exhibition Fund. Additional generous support is provided by David C. & Sarajean Ruttenberg Arts Foundation, Robert and Sheryl Bellick, Anne and Don Edwards, and Petzel Gallery.

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