Eternal Youth

Images

A shadowed figure leans over a partially nude youth, who is smiling with his eyes closed. They are both in a bed with gray sheets.

Larry Clark, Untitled (KIDS), 1995. Chromogenic development print; 16 × 20 in. (40.6 × 50.8 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift from The Howard and Donna Stone Collection, 2002.16.1

Photo: Michal Raz-Russo, © MCA Chicago

Wolfgang Tillmans, The Cock (Kiss), 2002. Chromogenic development print; 24 × 20 1/8 in. (61 × 51.1 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Joseph and Jory Shapiro Fund by exchange, 2006.15. © Wolfgang Tillmans. Courtesy of David Zwirner, New York, Galerie Buchholz, Cologne/Berlin, and Maureen Paley, London

Photo: Michael David Rose, © MCA Chicago

Dawoud Bey, Carrie I, 1997. Internal dye diffusion transfer print; six parts, each: 30 3/4 × 23 3/8 in. (78.1 × 59.4 cm); installed: 61 1/2 × 70 1/8 in. (156.2 × 178.1 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, restricted gift of Jane and Gary Wilner, Anita Blanchard and Martin Nesbitt, Lynn and Allen Turner, James Reynolds, Sandra P. and Jack Guthman, and members of the New Group, 2002.80.a–f

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Francesca Woodman, On Being An Angel, Providence, Rhode Island, Spring 1977, 1977. Gelatin silver print; sheet: 8 x 10 in. (20.3 x 25.4 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift from The Howard and Donna Stone Collection, 2002.73. © 1977 Francesca Woodman

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Melanie Schiff, Spit Rainbow, 2006. Chromogenic development print; 29 × 39 1/2 in. (73.7 × 100.3 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, restricted gift of Kay and Malcolm Kamin and Kay Torshen in honor of the MCA's 40th anniversary, 2007.34

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Jack Pierson, Ocean Drive, 1985. Edition 2 of 25; chromogenic development print; 30 x 20 in. (76.2 x 50.1 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, restricted gift of The Dave Hokin Foundation, 1995.119.6. © 1985 Jack Pierson

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Tim Gardner, Untitled (Bhoadie with St. Alphonsus statue), 1999. Watercolor on paper; framed: 16 13/16 × 18 5/16 in. (42.6 × 46.7 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein, 2014.43. © Tim Gardner, courtesy of 303 Gallery, New York

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

About

Eternal Youth explores the concept of coming-of-age as a crossroads in art history: how have artists represented youth since the twentieth century? In particular, since the 1990s, images of youth in the western world have elicited both desire and fear, responding to social, cultural, and political shifts such as HIV awareness and gender bending transition. This exhibition examines the different ways youth is portrayed—as simultaneously innocent and desirous—revealing the treatment of young bodies as sexualized, radical, and medicated objects.

This survey of works, comprised mostly of the MCA’s collection, starts with photographs by Larry Clark from his now infamous Kids series (from a major gift by the Howard and Donna Stone Collection), and the movie of the same name, which was released in 1995. Written by Harmony Korine and coproduced by Gus Van Sant, the film tells the story of a single day in the life of a group of sexually active teenagers in New York City and offered breakout roles for actors Chloë Sevigny and Rosario Dawson.

The works gathered together for this exhibition—by Dawoud Bey, Mona Hatoum, Thomas Hirschhorn, Jack Pierson, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Francesca Woodman—stretch from analog culture into the utopic digital age. Accompanying programming includes talks and an online debate about art, youth, and society at large.

This exhibition is curated by Omar Kholeif, Manilow Senior Curator and Director of Global Initiatives, with Grace Deveney, Curatorial Assistant.

It is presented in the Sylvia Neil and Daniel Fischel Galleries on the museum’s second floor.

Installation Images

Installation view, Eternal Youth, MCA Chicago, Mar 11–Jul 23, 2017

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Eternal Youth, MCA Chicago, Mar 11–Jul 23, 2017

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Eternal Youth, MCA Chicago, Mar 11–Jul 23, 2017

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Eternal Youth, MCA Chicago, Mar 11–Jul 23, 2017

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Eternal Youth, MCA Chicago, Mar 11–Jul 23, 2017

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Eternal Youth, MCA Chicago, Mar 11–Jul 23, 2017

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Eternal Youth, MCA Chicago, Mar 11–Jul 23, 2017

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Eternal Youth, MCA Chicago, Mar 11–Jul 23, 2017

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Eternal Youth, MCA Chicago, Mar 11–Jul 23, 2017

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Artist listing

Funding

Generous support of Eternal Youth is provided by The Pritzker Traubert Collection Exhibition Fund, Martin Fluhrer and John Williams, and Dr. Daniel S. Berger and Mr. Scott Wenthe.