Exhibitions

Description

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.

Exhibitions

  • 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.
    Picture Fiction: Kenneth Josephson and Contemporary Photography
  • A black-and-white photograph of two men shaking hands is mounted to a light-colored piece of wood.
    West by Midwest
    1. 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.
  • A sculpture shaped like a crooked letter X stands on a short rectangular base. From the center many spokes jut out creating a starburst effect.
    Enrico David: Gradations of Slow Release
  • Small white circles connected by thin wire balance opposite a thicker orange wire weighted by an orange rudder-like shape hanging from the edge of a white table.
    Heaven and Earth: Alexander Calder and Jeff Koons
  • A photo of a picturesque countryside with stone ruins features a dark, human-like form in the dry dirt.
    a body measured against the earth
  • A large wall features a prominent, colorful mural. Light shining from windows casts colorful shadows on the floor.
    Atrium Project:
    Federico Herrero
  • 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.
    Groundings
    1. 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.

Next

  • The words "DEATH," "LOVE," "HATE," "PLEASURE," "PAIN," and "LIFE" appear in illuminated neon, organized in a circle against a black background. In order, their colors are orange, purple, pink, green, and blue.
    Prisoner of Love
  • A black-and-white photo shows a film camera next to a much smaller version of itself.
    Laurie Simmons: Big Camera/Little Camera
  • 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.
    Jonathas de Andrade
    1. 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.
  • The Commons Artist Project:
    Brendan Fernandes
    1. Long Two people perform in an empty outdoor parking lot, one lunging and one leaning back, with their arms extended forward and wrists flexed. They seem to face each other, but the masculine person is closer to you and the feminine person is several paces further back. Their dark skin is highlighted by bright sunlight shining toward you that casts their shadows on the asphalt. The sky is blue and palm trees are in the background.
  • A photograph of a light-colored rock formation shows a cross-section of sediment lines.
    Chicago Works:
    Assaf Evron
    1. 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.

Past exhibitions

2018

2017

2016

  • A collage on paper featuring two sets of black and white cartoonish eyes and mouths, on top of which are affixed two photographs of a young Abraham Lincoln, the whole composition splattered with drips of black and white paint.
    Atrium Project:
    Joyce Pensato
  • Bright yellow organic shapes with black triangles of varying sizes appear in the foreground of this painting, while red streaks and smeared handprints appear in the background.
    Riot Grrrls
  • A black box containing an image of white box is mounted on the side of a thick black frame. The entire piece is intersected by a horizontal blue line, which appears to be painter's tape.
    Above, Before & After
  • A colorful geometric shape against a starry background floats above a figure wearing a bright orange-and-green jumpsuit and a colorful semi-circular headdress.
    Basim Magdy: The Stars Were Aligned for a Century of New Beginnings
    1. 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.
  • A person stands silhouetted in front of a square wall of fluorescent light in a dark space.
    Witness
  • 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.
    Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination
    1. 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.
  • Just right of center, an organic round shape in a hazy light gray seems to emerge from a jet black background. It hovers around or behind a bright white spot at its center.
    BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works:
    Andrew Yang
  • A frog sits on a cellphone, partially obscuring its lit screen; the cellphone rests on a person's outstretched palm.
    MCA Screen:
    Camille Henrot
  • Twenty six black-and-white photographs of Patricia Hearst in four rows, with a letter of the alphabet—from A to Z—in white superimposed over each one.
    The Making of a Fugitive
  • A person with a cow skull for a head stands in a forest, wearing a white shirt streaked with red and with arms outstretched.
    The Propeller Group
  • 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.
    Kerry James Marshall: Mastry
    1. 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.
  • Against a tropical backdrop, a person in a blue-and-white wrestling mask holds a microphone up to their mouth.
    MCA Screen:
    Phil Collins

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