The MCA’s exhibitions feature the art of our time in every possible media by artists of local and international renown. Explore the variety of MCA exhibitions on view now, coming up next, or from our rich past. Images in this section are published for educational use under the umbrella of the Fair Use doctrine.
Short Five glowing white orbs seem to float above branches against a deep blue background.
Long In this vertical painting, the background consists of a rich, saturated blue mottled with areas of both lighter and darker blue. Extending vertically across the background are three thin, dark brown branches. From these branches sprout small leaves of various reds, blues, pinks, and purples. The branches also bear three ghostly, translucent apples distinguished from the background only by white outlines. The most dominant element of the painting are five large white orbs, each with a faintly translucent white glow. Three of the orbs are aligned vertically on the left half of the painting, while the other two are arranged vertically starting at the upper-right hand corner. This leaves the background of the bottom right corner fully exposed.
Short A black tapestry speckled with silver arrowheads depicts two pairs of orange legs, one wearing a skirt, with flat, geometric shapes in place of torsos and heads. The pair is connected at the hip and each stands on a crystalline mound.
Short A nude adult with masculine shoulders wears cowboy boots on their hands and feet. They stand on one of their hands with their feet splayed across the corner of a room lit in red.
Long A person poses dramatically balanced on one arm, limbs spread in various directions–each adorned with a cowboy boot. One booted arm points towards us and both legs splay out to touch the walls of the nearby corner. The person faces away from you, back flexing from the contortion of their pose. The lighting of the photograph is dramatic and dream-like, with one light source casting red shadows and an orange glow, while another light casts green shadows. The figure's shadow spreads across the wall revealing the outline of male genitals.
Short A black-and-white photograph of two men shaking hands is mounted to a light-colored piece of wood.
Long A black-and-white photograph with white borders is affixed to a small wood board with photo corners. The photo shows a scene in a supper club or restaurant. It features two fair-skinned, dark-haired men in suits standing, shaking hands. The man on the left holds a small box and the man on the right extends his left hand to receive it. In the foreground, two seated, light-skinned people with long dark glossy hair look up at the men from their table. The two men look directly at us. A date stamp reading "JAN 3 1968" appears in the bottom border of the photo. The ends of two knotted leather cords emerge above and below the photo on the left side of the wooden board, seemingly binding the board like a book cover. A signature reading "Edward Ruscha" appears on the board in blue ink below the image, and the initials "B.A.B." are signed and underlined in black on the wood above the mounted photograph.
Short A scene created out of pieces of carpet portrays a person taking a picture of a portrait in a gallery with a smartphone.
Long A person wearing what appears to be a Chicago Cubs jersey, khaki cargo shorts, and grey new balance tennis shoes with white ankle socks is taking a picture with a smartphone of an abstract portrait of President Lincoln with a yellow triangle nose against a salmon pink background flecked with blue triangles. This scene is entirely rendered in plush carpet that lacks detail creating a cartoon-like visual style. The person is standing facing to the right facing the portrait on a white wall. Part of another artwork appears at the left edge of the image in the background, giving the impression of a gallery space. He stands on floorboards of varying shades of brown that extend to the back wall of the space.
Short A man stands amidst tall, wispy plant stalks about twice his height. He holds a machete and two bundles of dried up stalks in front of him to make an "X" shape.
Long A brown-skinned field worker wearing a yellow baseball cap, royal blue shirt and pants, and protective legwear stands in the center of a small clearing and looks directly at you. He is holding a machete and two bundles of harvested sugarcane stalks. The stalks extend well beyond his head and are held at two angles to cross at his center forming an "X." A wall of tall green sugarcane foliage rises up directly behind him against a pale blue sky. His feet disappear into a blanket of brown sugarcane leaves.
Short A photograph of a light-colored rock formation shows a cross-section of sediment lines.
Long A photographic print of a desert scene features a rock formation against a blue sky on a sun-filled day. The formation is made up of layers of sediment colored in a range of cream, sand, tan, and umber. The sun rakes across the surface to reveal the texture of the rock and creates long shadows. The central sediment lines are squiggly, winding horizontally across the surface of the rock. Dark crevices appear at the base of the formation and small, dried-up vegetation grows sporadically across the rocky ground. It appears as though it could dried-up riverbed.
Short Two sets of black-and-white cartoon eyes and mouths are partially covered by two photographs of a young, clean-shaven Abraham Lincoln and splattered with drips and slashes of black and white paint.
Short A brightly colored geometric shape floats in a starry sky above a figure wearing an equally colorful head dress and jumpsuit.
Long A three-dimensional geometric shape floats in a starry night sky, taking up most of the upper two-thirds of the painting. The shape is multi-faceted, with 7 faces showing. Each face has has a gradient of vibrant colors ranging from yellow to green, blue to pink, and red to black. The faces are flat and matte, stark against the spray-painted starry night sky. Behind the shape, we see black and grey stripes creating a shadow of the shape. The ground is white, as if it is covered by snow. There are four round-edged rectangles along the ground, in pastel colors. A small lone figure stands in the bottom center of the painting, wearing an orange jumpsuit with green side stripes, red gloves, dark blue boots, and a striped, semi-circular hat. The figure stands directly under the geometric shape, looking at us, and is dwarfed by the size of the geometric shape.
Short A gallery installation featuring three videos of dolphins underwater projected on the walls and floor. The projectors are visibly suspended at varied heights in the magenta-colored room.
Long A view of a spacious gallery that is dark magenta and lit by blue video projections. Three videos of dolphins swimming in the water are projected on the walls and floor from suspended projectors, creating the impression that the viewer is swimming below and looking up at the dolphins. A fourth projection on the floor shows the silhouette of an ambiguous person swimming in scuba gear.
Short In this painting, a woman painter holds a paint palette in front of a paint-by-numbers portrait. Her skin is as black as the as the solid black background; she stares confidently into our eyes.
Long This painted portrait depicts a young woman with jet-black skin holding a long, thin paintbrush up to a colorful, messy painter’s palette. She is shown in a three-quarter pose, gazing directly at the viewer. Her face, which is central to the square composition, stands out against a large, white, canvas, almost blending into the pitch-black background to her right. Closer inspection reveals, however, that her skin is subtly rendered, with various shades of contours and highlights. She wears two large hoop earrings, three small hoop earrings, and an oversized, boxy, high-collared jacket made of stiff fabric. Her voluminous hair—black with an ochre sheen—rises in thick coils on top of her head. The canvas to her left shows a partly finished paint-by-number self-portrait; in it, her likeness is broken up into smaller segments with pale-blue outlines and numbers. She has outlined many of the segments and filled them in with colors from her palette: orange, blue, yellow, pink, brown, and a few shades of green. The paint-by-number canvas does not accurately represent the color and pattern of the jacket she wears, which features mustard yellow sleeves and collar and deep blue and maroon and light yellow stripes.