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The Location of Lines
Aug 29, 2020–Feb 21, 2021
Carol & Douglas Cohen Gallery:Fourth Floor, North Side
Marion & Jerome H. Stone Gallery: Fourth Floor, North Sid

About the Exhibition
Lines are the first gesture in writing, drawing, and sculpture making them central to representation. While we often describe lines as definitive—“a line in the sand,” or “crossing the line”—artists in this exhibition play with these limits, revealing how they can change and move.

Taking the title from a Sol LeWitt artist’s book, The Location of Lines further examines the form of a line in the context of space and politics. Through a variety of representations in the prints, drawings, photographs, and videos that make up the exhibition, viewers are invited to reconsider the line and its meaning, both in imagination and in reality. These uses span from the abstract to the concrete: the line as a form, as a symbol, as a concept, and ultimately as a geographic border. Each artwork reveals how lines, limits, and borders are constructed and how they can change. After all, for those in power, lines can be erased just as easily as they are drawn.

The exhibition is organized by Line Ajan, Barjeel Global Fellow. It is presented in the Cohen Gallery and Stone Family Gallery on the fourth floor.

ARTISTS IN THIS EXHIBITION INCLUDE:
Francis Alÿs (Belgian, b. 1959)
Latifa Echakhch (Moroccan, b. 1974)
Mona Hatoum (British-Palestinian, b. Lebanon, 1952)
Alfredo Jaar (Chilean, b. 1956)
Emily Jacir (American, b. 1973)
Edward Krasiński (Polish, 1925–2004)
Sol LeWitt (American, 1928–2007)
Ana Mendieta (American, b. Cuba, 1948–1985)
Annette Messager (French, b. 1943)
Howardena Pindell (American, b. 1943)
Zarina (Indian, b. 1937)

Alien vs. Citizen
Through Feb 21, 2021
Sylvia Neil and Daniel Fischel Galleries, Second Floor, North Side

How do you know what you are worth?

Inspired by conversations about the visas awarded to "aliens of extraordinary ability" and other merit-based immigration policies, Alien vs. Citizen considers how an individual’s value is understood in relationship to community. The exhibition asks us to think about the way a person’s value is determined in the United States, through mechanisms including citizenship, work, and personal relationships. The artworks are organized around these three ways of estimating worth, inviting us to consider the cultural biases embedded in each.

The exhibition is organized by Interim Senior Curator January Parkos Arnall with Line Ajan, Barjeel Global Fellow. It is presented in the Sylvia Neil and Daniel Fischel Galleries on the museum's second floor.

ARTISTS IN THIS EXHIBITION INCLUDE:
Monica Bock (American, b. 1960)
Jennifer Bornstein (American, b. 1970)
Stephanie Brooks (American, b. 1970)
Mary E. Carlisle (American)
Enrique Chagoya (Mexican, b. 1953)
Larry Clark (American, b. 1943)
Dora García (Spanish, 1965)
Cathy Lynn Gasser (American)
Melissa Goldstein (American, b. 1961)
Ramiro Gomez (Mexican-American, b. 1986)
Doug Hall (American, b. 1944)
Gabriel Kuri (Mexican, b. 1970)
Claire Fontaine (French Collective)
Glenn Ligon (American, 1960)
Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle (American, b. Spain, 1961)
Kerry James Marshall (American, b. 1955)
Hương Ngô (American, b. Hong Kong, 1979)
Christina Quarles (American, b. 1985)
Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925–2008)
Andres Serrano (American, b. 1950)
Sandrine Sheon (French, b. 1964)
Yinka Shonibare CBE (British, b. 1962)
Catherine Smith (American, b. 1950)
Nedko Solakov (Bulgarian, b. 1957)
Thomas Struth (German, b. 1954)
Hồng-Ân Trương (American, b. 1976)
Gillian Wearing (British, b. 1963)
Carrie Mae Weems (American, b. 1953)
Eric Wesley (American, b. 1973)

The Shape of the Future
Throgh Aug 16, 2020
Carolu & Douglas Cohen Gallery: Fourth Floor, North Side

The global pandemic has forced us to put intense scrutiny on the things we touch, the spaces we inhabit, and the people we come into contact with. The connections that make up our daily lives have become less familiar. In response, our curators have selected artworks from the MCA Collection that explore how we connect. The resulting exhibition reflects on the connections we share with others and the world around us, as well as the bond we feel most acutely in solitude—with ourselves.

Just Connect brings together artworks from artists across generations, nationalities, and media that respond to the idea of connection. Just Connect reminds us of what we have in common now, all that we had in common when we were separated, and the humanity we will continue to share as we rebuild our lives after a global crisis.

This exhibition is organized by Michael Darling, James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator; Harry C. H. Choi, Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow; and Line Ajan, Barjeel Global Fellow and the Visual Arts department. It is presented in the Bergman Family Gallery on the second floor.

ARTISTS IN THIS EXHIBITION INCLUDE:
Nicholas Africano, (American, b. 1948)
Kai Althoff, (German, b. 1966)
Margot Bergman, (American, b. 1934)
Ellen Berkenblit, (American, b. 1958)
Roger Brown, (American, 1941–1997)
Miriam Cahn, (Swiss, b. 1949)
William Copley, (American, 1919–1996)
Jonathas de Andrade, (Brazilian, b. 1982)
Jason Dodge, (American, b. 1969)
Rafael Ferrer, (American, b. Puerto Rico, 1933)
Eric Fischl, (American, b. 1948)
Julia Fish, (American, b. 1950)
General Idea, (Canadian conceptual artists, active 1968-1994)
Isa Genzken, (German, b. 1948)
Andreas Gursky, (German, b. 1955)
Philip Hanson, (American, b. 1943)
Paul Heyer, (American, b. 1982)
Jenny Holzer, (American, b. 1950)
Sanya Kantarovsky, (Russian, b. 1982)
Gabriel Kuri, (Mexican, b. 1970)
Glenn Ligon, (American, b. 1960)
Sharon Lockhart, (American, b. 1964)
Calvin Marcus, (American, b. 1988)
Kerry James Marshall, (American, b. 1955)
Malcolm Morley, (British, 1931–2018)
Ree Morton, (American, 1936-1977)
Emeka Ogboh, (Nigerian, b. 1977)
B. Ingrid Olson, (American, b. 1987)
Tony Oursler, (American, b. 1957)
Eddie Peake, (British, b. 1981)
Tania Pérez Córdova, (Mexican, b. 1979)
Hugh Scott-Douglas, (British, b. 1988)
George Segal, (American, 1924–2000)
Hollis Sigler, (American, 1948–2001)
Michael E. Smith, (American, b. 1977)
Wolfgang Tillmans, (German, b. 1968)
Wesley Willis, (American, 1963–2003)
Francesca Woodman, (American, 1958–1981)
Akram Zaatari, (Lebanese, b. 1966)

Lead support 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; Zell Family Foundation; Julie and Larry Bernstein; and Cari and Michael Sacks; the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Just Connect
July 17–Nov 8, 2020

The global pandemic has forced us to put intense scrutiny on the things we touch, the spaces we inhabit, and the people we come into contact with. The connections that make up our daily lives have become less familiar. In response, our curators have selected artworks from the MCA Collection that explore how we connect. The resulting exhibition reflects on the connections we share with others and the world around us, as well as the bond we feel most acutely in solitude—with ourselves.

Just Connect brings together artworks from artists across generations, nationalities, and media that respond to the idea of connection. Just Connect reminds us of what we have in common now, all that we had in common when we were separated, and the humanity we will continue to share as we rebuild our lives after a global crisis.

This exhibition is organized by Michael Darling, James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator; Harry C. H. Choi, Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow; and Line Ajan, Barjeel Global Fellow and the Visual Arts department. It is presented in the Bergman Family Gallery on the second floor. n Family Gallery: Second Floor, South Side


ARTISTS IN THIS EXHIBITION INCLUDE:
Nicholas Africano, (American, b. 1948)
Kai Althoff, (German, b. 1966)
Margot Bergman, (American, b. 1934)
Ellen Berkenblit, (American, b. 1958)
Roger Brown, (American, 1941–1997)
Miriam Cahn, (Swiss, b. 1949)
William Copley, (American, 1919–1996)
Jonathas de Andrade, (Brazilian, b. 1982)
Jason Dodge, (American, b. 1969)
Rafael Ferrer, (American, b. Puerto Rico, 1933)
Eric Fischl, (American, b. 1948)
Julia Fish, (American, b. 1950)
General Idea, (Canadian conceptual artists, active 1968-1994)
Isa Genzken, (German, b. 1948)
Andreas Gursky, (German, b. 1955)
Philip Hanson, (American, b. 1943)
Paul Heyer, (American, b. 1982)
Jenny Holzer, (American, b. 1950)
Sanya Kantarovsky, (Russian, b. 1982)
Gabriel Kuri, (Mexican, b. 1970)
Glenn Ligon, (American, b. 1960)
Sharon Lockhart, (American, b. 1964)
Calvin Marcus, (American, b. 1988)
Kerry James Marshall, (American, b. 1955)
Malcolm Morley, (British, 1931–2018)
Ree Morton, (American, 1936-1977)
Emeka Ogboh, (Nigerian, b. 1977)
B. Ingrid Olson, (American, b. 1987)
Tony Oursler, (American, b. 1957)
Eddie Peake, (British, b. 1981)
Tania Pérez Córdova, (Mexican, b. 1979)
Hugh Scott-Douglas, (British, b. 1988)
George Segal, (American, 1924–2000)
Hollis Sigler, (American, 1948–2001)
Michael E. Smith, (American, b. 1977)
Wolfgang Tillmans, (German, b. 1968)
Wesley Willis, (American, 1963–2003)
Francesca Woodman, (American, 1958–1981)
Akram Zaatari, (Lebanese, b. 1966)
Funding

Lead support 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; Zell Family Foundation; Julie and Larry Bernstein; and Cari and Michael Sacks; the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Terra Foundation for American Art.

.paint
July 17–Nov 15, 2020
McCormick Tribune Gallery: Second Floor, North Side

.paint examines how the traditional art form of painting is being redefined with digital tools, opening up unprecedented new possibilities. By merging and maintaining the craft of painting with digital technologies including photoshop, mobile devices, and inkjet printing, these artists bridge the physical and digital worlds.

.paint is organized by James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator Michael Darling, with Harry C. H. Choi, Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow.

Chicago Works:Deborah Stratman
Through July 26, 2020
Ed and Jackie Rabin Gallery (Third Floor, North Side) and Dr. Paul and Dorie Sternberg Family Gallery (Third Floor, North Side)

Chicago Works: Deborah Stratman is centered on the artist’s celebrated film The Illinois Parables, which chronicles the history of the region through 11 chapters addressing everything from the ‘resettlement’ of the Cherokee people, to the invention of the nuclear reactor at the University of Chicago, to the deadly police raid of Chicago’s Black Panther headquarters. In the film, Stratman travels to the charged locations where these events occurred and discovers the ways that belief, force, technology, and government mark the land, and how the landscape in turn marks those who call it home.

On the occasion of the exhibition, Stratman created an extension of the film—a twelfth chapter—in the form of a recreation of Studs Terkel’s WFMT radio booth and an accompanying audio program of the oral historian's interviews.

The exhibition is organized by Jack Schneider, Curatorial Assistant. It is presented in the Dr. Paul and Dori

DURO OLOWU: SEEING CHICAGO
February 29 - May 10, 2020

This February, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presents a special exhibition, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, curated by the internationally acclaimed Nigerian-born British designer Duro Olowu, best known for his award-winning womenswear label. For this exhibition, Olowu curates a major exhibition drawn from the public and private art collections of Chicago, anchored by the MCA’s art collection, that reveals his creative process imagining relationships between artists and objects across time, media, and geography. Moving away from traditional exhibition formats, Olowu combines paintings, sculptures, photographs, and films in layered and textured scenes that also incorporate his fashion. The first exhibition of its kind, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago is inspired by Chicago’s deep and emotional investment in the arts, something that Olowu cites as a distinct and dynamic aspect of the city’s incredible cultural heritage. Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago is on view at the MCA from February 29 to May 10, 2020, and is organized by MCA Senior Curator Naomi Beckwith.

Olowu’s fashion design work is characterized by unique fabrics and evocative patterns in his impeccably constructed garments that speak to a cosmopolitan sensibility informed by his international background and curator’s eye. Throughout his career, Olowu has forged personal relationships with artists across the world and has especially advocated for voices outside of the context of Western Europe and North America. Olowu’s multicultural viewpoint has translated into popular platforms and projects from his Instagram posts to his innovative museum and gallery curatorial projects in London and New York. This global perspective translates to all of Olowu’s work where his dynamic arrangements give context to his designs, and position him at the transcultural crossroads of art, culture, and fashion.

For this exhibition, Olowu engaged with numerous institutional and private collections in Chicago and selected artworks that reflect mutual ways of seeing, selecting, and acquiring across the city. Inside the MCA galleries, Olowu will place this diverse array of Chicago art holdings to reveal unexpected connections, patterns, and common interests between Chicago collections of various sizes and scales. With an artist’s sense of experimentation, Olowu will take the approach of installing the works ‘salon-style,’ using vertical wall space and playful combinations to place works in surprising conversations with one another. Olowu organizes the show to prioritize aesthetics and the visual experience of the visitor, with wall colors including saturated shades of orange, purple, and teal – inspired by the exhibition.

Works of different movements and historical contexts are presented alongside one another, capturing the breadth of Chicago collections through the lens of a curious observer or visitor from another place. The exhibition features a diverse and inclusive roster of artists ranging from turn-of-the-century innovators Henri Matisse and René Magritte to contemporary artists Dawoud Bey, David Hammons, Barbara Kruger, Simone Leigh, Kerry James Marshall, Ana Mendieta, and Fred Wilson. A special emphasis is given to Chicago-based artists and movements originating in Chicago, such as AfriCOBRA and the Chicago Imagists, in addition to works that capture the city’s signature spaces and architecture.

Olowu’s invitation to audiences to join him in a sustained look at new arrangements of objects propels Seeing Chicago. The exhibit is a sampling of Chicago collections—both institutional and private—many of which were the product of the singular visions of the collectors and curators. And while these visions are altogether unique, Olowu recognized a striking familiarity in their ways of seeing and selecting. Olowu’s idea of the “second look” has become a model for spending respectful time with an object and giving attention to those objects that are either overlooked or even hypervisible to the point of not offering any more discoveries. A second look is the mode by which Olowu was able to visit Chicago and offer a new connection and meaning into the city’s collections.

Chicago gained a reputation as a stellar collecting city by the 1980s. It became an important center for art fairs, and local collectors played advisor and mentor to budding collectors from all over the country. Some of the star collectors were founders and supporters of the MCA, some were artists that supported their contemporaries, while many collected to support their cultural community. Olowu recognized a certain independent streak among Chicago collectors, who, as a whole, amassed an eclectic, significant holding of works of great diversity.

Olowu made many visits to Chicago as a curator, and spent time learning about art exhibitions, institutions, movements, and galleries in Chicago, including the art holdings in museums and private homes. Works for the exhibition were loaned from public collections such as the Art Institute of Chicago, Block Museum of Art, South Side Community Art Center, and Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art; artists’ collections including Richard Hunt, and the Estate of Archibald Motley, Jr.; and individual Chicago collectors who have made major, selfless contributions to many cultural institution around the city.

ABOUT DURO OLOWU
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, to a Nigerian father and Jamaican mother, Olowu’s first eponymous collection in 2004 was a critical hit with the fashion world and sold out internationally. It featured the now signature "Duro” dress, hailed by both British and American Vogue as the dress of the year in 2005. That same year, he won the prestigious New Designer of the Year Award at the British Fashion Awards.

Olowu was also awarded TopShop’s ‘NEWGEN’ sponsorship, and in 2010, he was named Best International Designer at the African Fashion Awards in South Africa and was one of six finalists for the Swiss Textiles Award in Zurich. Alluring silhouettes, sharp tailoring, original prints juxtaposed with luxurious fabrics in off-beat yet harmonious, combinations became Olowu’s signature. His collections are a reflection of his interpretation of an international style that is timeless and relevant. His curatorial projects "Material" in 2012 and "More Material" in 2014 at Salon 94 Gallery in New York met with critical praise by the art world.

Olowu’s last museum exhibition, “Making and Unmaking” at the Camden Arts Centre in London in 2016, also garnered high critical curatorial praise and is regarded as a landmark exhibition both for the scale and range of artists included as well as the deftly original installation he designed for the show. He lives between London and New York.

PUBLICATION
Published to accompany the exhibition, Duro Olowu: Seeing shows the life and creative process of the designer and curator, highlighting the global and integrative perspective that has guided his practice. Naomi Beckwith’s essay explores Olowu’s curatorial process, driven by an appetite for contemporary art and culture. Ekow Eshun examines Britain’s black and Afro-Caribbean creative community as a frame through which to view Olowu’s creative development. Valerie Steele situates Olowu’s designs within the contemporary fashion world. Lynette Yiadom-Boakye creates new fiction and poetry that speak to the themes of the exhibition. And Thelma Golden interviews Olowu about his work as designer, curator, and chronicler of culture and style. Considered together, the text and images of this volume spotlight the mind of a critical luminary whose transcultural approach to design, curation, and art is revelatory.

SHOP DURO OLOWU
The MCA Store will include a shop with 30 exclusive products designed especially for the exhibition with prints designed by Duro Olowu. These Items include home goods, stationary, and accessories such as a silk scarf, a bespoke patchwork dog, and other novelty items. A limited edition tote bag by MZ Wallace will be available for pre-order in the store. Proceeds from the sales of the tote bag will be donated to the MCA.

Atrium Project:Ad Minoliti
Through Jun 7, 2020
Kovler Atrium Second Floor

Ad Minoliti’s (Argentinian, b. 1980) colorful geometric artworks challenge us to see and think differently, beyond gender identifications and human forms. For the MCA Atrium Project, Minoliti has designed a dynamic, site-specific mural which is displayed on a grand scale.

Minoliti’s work questions our natural inclination to clearly identify the things we see and confronts our desire to find recognizable figures and objects in her geometric compositions. Minoliti’s arresting use of color and abstract shapes elicits an emotional and physical response in viewers and offers a seductive invitation into the museum.

Drag King Mural is part of a larger series of Minoliti’s work that engages feminist and queer theory and features compositions of simple geometric planes and blocks of color inspired by graphic design of the 1970s.

The exhibition is organized and curated by Carla Acevedo-Yates, MCA Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator.

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