The Shape of the Future

  • Carol & Douglas Cohen Gallery
    Fourth Floor, North Side
    220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
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Richard Misrach, Tennis Courts and Pyramids, Giza, Egypt, 1989/1995. Chromogenic dye coupler print 40 1/8 × 49 7/8 in. (101.9 × 126.7 cm) Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Bernice and Kenneth Newberger Fund, 1996.37. Photo: James Isberner, © MCA Chicago.
Yto Barrada, Palissade de chantier (Building Site Wall), 2009/2011. Cibachrome print; framed: 34 5/8 × 34 5/8 in. (87.9 × 87.9 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, restricted gift of Kay Torshen, 2018.17, © Yto Barrada, courtesy Pace Gallery; Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, Beirut; and Galerie Polaris, Paris Photography courtesy the artist and Pace Gallery.
Mary Brogger, Earthwork, 2000. Wood, glass, and birdseed; 38 × 16 × 6 ½ in. (96.5 × 40.6 × 16.5 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Gift of the Susan and Lewis Manilow Collection of Chicago Artists, 2004.6. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Jack Pierson, In every dream home a heartache, 1990. Chromogenic development print; 30 × 20 in. (76.2 × 50.1 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Restricted gift of The Dave Hokin Foundation, 1995.119.4 © 1990 Jack Pierson. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

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The Shape of the Future features works from the MCA permanent collection that reckon with the dubious dream of a universal design language. Coinciding with the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, the exhibition explores global modernism as a framework for utopia and speculative world making, marked by traces of labor, political fantasy, and cultural turmoil. Highlighting the histories and ideologies embedded in the built environment, these artists reveal the complexity—and at times absurdity—of the modernist project as a collection of disasters and reveries.

The exhibition is organized by Nina Wexelblatt, Curatorial Assistant. It is presented in the Cohen and Stone Family Galleries on the museum’s fourth floor.