Timely Exhibitions 'Just Connect,' 'Alien vs. Citizen' Debut and More Ahead at MCA Chicago

  • July 14, 2020 19:01

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In "Just Connect," Sharon Lockhart, Maja and Elodie, 2003. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. © 2003 Sharon Lockhart. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
In "Alien vs. Citizen," Kerry James Marshall, Souvenir I, 1997. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. © 1997 Kerry James Marshall, Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
In "Chicago Works: Deborah Stratman," Deborah Stratman, Still from The Illinois Parables, 2016. Image courtesy of the artist.
In "Just Connect," Eric Fischl, The New House, 1982. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. © 1982 Eric Fischl. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago plans to reopen to the public on Friday, July 24, 2020, after several months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Visit the museum website for visitor guidelines and to make online reservations in advance.

MCA Director Madeleine Grynsztejn says, “Throughout extraordinary moments in history, artists have always shown us the way forward with work that has the power to heal, connect, inspire, and ignite our creativity. Art museums are among the lowest-risk spaces to visit in the city, and the spacious design of the MCA offers wide-open public spaces to easily accommodate physical distancing while guests experience the art on view. We also encourage visitors to step outside to enjoy time for quiet contemplation in our terraced sculpture garden with some of the best views in the city overlooking Lake Michigan.”

The MCA’s reopening features more work on view by Chicago artists and from Chicago collections than ever before in its history. One new exhibition is Alien vs. Citizen (through Feb. 21, 2021) which asks viewers to think about the ways a person’s value is determined in the United States, through mechanisms including citizenship, work, and personal relationships.

Acclaimed Chicago filmmaker Deborah Stratman’s exhibition on her film The Illinois Parables, includes a re-creation of the WFMT radio studio of the renowned Studs Terkel with a selection of his celebrated interviews. Just Connect is a timely exhibition on how the pandemic has made us more aware of our desire to connect, and how we depend on our communities and families for a sense of belonging.

The popular exhibition, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago has been extended to September 27, featuring an exceptional assembly of works drawn from Chicago’s greatest public and private collections by the British-Nigerian fashion designer Duro Olowu.

For this exhibition, Olowu 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.

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.

Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, 2020. Photo: Kendall McCaugherty.
In "Alien vs. Citizen," Doug Hall, The United States Crumpled, 1982. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Courtesy of the artist and Benrubi Gallery, NYC. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
In "Alien vs. Citizen," Andres Serrano, Nomads (Payne), 1990. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, © 1990 Andres Serrano Photo: Nathan Keay,© MCA Chicago
Installation view, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, 2020. Photo: Kendall McCaugherty.


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