Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago

Duro Olowu works at the crossroads of fashion, art, and culture.

Nigerian-born British designer Duro Olowu is internationally recognized for his womenswear label launched in 2004. Characterized by unique fabrics, evocative patterns, and impeccable construction, the London-based designer’s garments are informed by his international background and curator’s eye. Olowu’s multinational and multicultural viewpoint has translated into wildly popular platforms and projects from his dynamic Instagram account to his revelatory curatorial projects in London and New York.

Now Olowu turns his cosmopolitan eye to Chicago. Drawing from the city’s public and private art collections including works in the MCA’s collection, Olowu curates a show that reimagines relationships between artists and objects across time, media, and geography. Moving away from traditional exhibition formats, Olowu combines photographs, paintings, sculptures, and films in dense and textural scenes that incorporate his own work.

The exhibition is guest-curated by Duro Olowu and organized for the MCA by Naomi Beckwith, Manilow Senior Curator, with Jack Schneider, Curatorial Assistant.

Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago Audio Experience

Clockwise: Amy Sherald, Maybe if I wore a Mask 2009

Speakers include Duro Olowu and Naomi Beckwith. Quotes are selected from archival interviews with Lorna Simpson, Jack Whitten, Richard Hunt, Roger Brown, Kerry James Marshall, and Shirin Neshat.

The Exhibition Video

Nigerian-born British fashion designer and guest curator defines cosmopolitanism and what it means to see the world around you.

Funding

Lead support for Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago is provided by the Harris Family Foundation in memory of Bette and Neison Harris: Caryn and King Harris, Katherine Harris, Toni and Ron Paul, Pam Szokol, Linda and Bill Friend, and Stephanie and John Harris; Dimitris Daskalopoulos; Zell Family Foundation; and Cari and Michael Sacks.

Major support is provided by Mellody Hobson and Gael Neeson, Edlis-Neeson Foundation

Generous support is provided by Nancy and Steven Crown; Julie and Larry Bernstein, Robert J. Buford, Carylon Foundation, Ellen-Blair Chube, Marilyn and Larry Fields, Agnes Gund, Mirja and Ted Haffner, the Joyce Foundation, Anne L. Kaplan, Liz and Eric Lefkofsky, Carol Prins and John Hart/The Jessica Fund; Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, Denise and Gary Gardner; Lois and Steve Eisen and The Eisen Family Foundation, Leslie Bluhm and David Helfand, the Terra Foundation for American Art, on behalf of board member Nora Daley, Shawn M. Donnelley and Christopher M. Kelly, Susan D. Goodman and Rodney Lubeznik, Nickol and Darrel Hackett, Jennifer and Alec Litowitz, Mary Kay Touhy; Dr. Daniel S. Berger, Heiji and Brian Black, Dr. Anita Blanchard and Martin H. Nesbitt, Dr. John E. Ellis, Frieze New York, Brooke Garber Neidich, Rachel and David Grund, Vicki and Bill Hood, Cheryl Mayberry McKissack and Eric McKissack, and Regan Rohde and Phil Friedmann.

Installation Images

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, MCA Chicago. Feb 29–May 10, 2020.

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago