Whenever I travel I love to check out the city’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Every city has their own version of cool Avant Garde work and interesting artists I have never heard of. Last summer whilst in Chicago I checked out the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA).
One of the nation’s largest facilities devoted to the art of our time, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) offers exhibitions of the most thought-provoking art created since 1945. The MCA documents contemporary visual culture through painting, sculpture, photography, video and film, and performance. Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, the MCA boasts a gift store, bookstore, restaurant, 300-seat Theater, and a terraced sculpture garden with a great view of Lake Michigan.
Even though the exhibit has now passed, I really enjoyed Martin Creed’s installation at the MCA.
In works that ranged from intimate poetic objects to large-scale neon signs, Martin Creed revaluated the status of art with a generous sense of humor. As part of a yearlong residency at MCA Chicago, Creed brought his avant-garde sensibility to the building and the city. In each month of 2012, Creed unveiled an artwork in a different space of the MCA, progressing upward through four floors of the building and extending his work outward to the sculpture garden and plaza and into the city of Chicago. Some works lived as sculptures in the museum’s public spaces, and some projects were site specific—for instance, murals in the atrium and café. Others still, such as a work that takes the form of crumpled balls of paper placed in each of the museum’s public spaces, play with the notion of the carefully curated object.
The artist’s work and projects enlivened the museum and the city and involved visitors in unexpected ways.
Chicago indeed is a city of skyscrapers. Creed’s art was symbolic in its layered tall art energy. The symbiosis of his art and stepping outside MCA and being greeted by real life metal living giants was inspirational and added another layer of depth to the beautiful architecture of Chicago.
Lastly, if you are in Chicago this summer pick up Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity from the MCA bookstore. It’s a fantastic read and examines contemporary works of art that take as their subject the form, technology, myth, message, and image of that iconic building structure, the skyscraper.
Skyscraper brings together a wide-ranging group of artists from around the world and across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries to explore this enduring fascination. The exhibition features the work of Fikret Atay, Jennifer Bolande, Roger Brown, Jeff Carter, Roe Ethridge, Jonathan Horowitz, Bodys Isek Kingelez, Jakob Kolding, Vera Lutter, Abelardo Morell, Eliza Myrie, Ahmet Ögüt , Claes Oldenburg, Gabriel Orozco, Enoc Perez, Monika Sosnowska, Thomas Struth, Jan Tichy, Andy Warhol, Peter Wegner, H. C. Westermann, Wesley Willis, Catherine Yass, and Shizuka Yokomizo, among others.
See you again in August MCA!
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
220 East Chicago Ave,
Chicago, IL 60611