Art historian Hayden Herrera, author of Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo, discusses the Mexican artist’s life and work with a focus on Kahlo’s legacy, seen in the themes presented in Unbound: Contemporary Art After Frida Kahlo.
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In the mid 1960s, the city of Chicago was an incubator for an iconoclastic group of young artists. Collectively known as the Imagists, they showed in successive waves of exhibitions with monikers that might have been psychedelic rock bands of the era – Hairy Who, Nonplussed Some, False Image, Marriage Chicago Style. Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists is the first film to tell this wild, woolly, utterly irreverent tale. The Chicago premiere of Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists, is followed by a discussion with artists Gladys Nilsson and Art Green, director Leslie Buchbinder, writer John Corbett, and MCA curator Lynne Warren.
Creative Time Director Anne Pasternak explains how her organization brings provocative public art to people around the world. She will be joined by Chicago-based artists Michael Rakowitz and Laurie Jo Reynolds.
This Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago symposium explores the relationships among contemporary practice, civic engagement, art, and the work of museums. This daylong discussion brings together artists, activists, curators, educators, and historians to examine contemporary issues relating to collaboration, social practice, community outreach, and civic engagement.
Artist William Pope.L orchestrates an evening that is part performance and part discussion. With a panel of artists and professors, Pope.L explores the complex tradition of public debate while addressing questions about diversity, performance, and identity. The artist further complicates these issues by dressing each member of the panel in a different farm animal costume.
Guest speakers include artists Zachary Cahill and Wolfie E. Rawk; Lisa Yun Lee, director of the School of Art and Art History at the University of Illinois; and Romi Crawford, associate professor of visual and critical studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).
Barcelona-based conceptual artist Jaume Plensa has produced a rich body of work over the past 30 years and is best known in Chicago for Crown Fountain in Millennium Park. Plensa discusses his practice and engages in a dialog with moderator Reed Kroloff, Director of the Cranbrook Academy of Art and Museum, about art and architecture.
The Architecture Is Art talks series examines the intersections and blurred boundaries between the professional practice and creative process of architects and contemporary artists. The series explores how architects and artists identify their work, where they turn for inspiration, how their process and presentation materials are interpreted, and when it’s useful or necessary to distinguish the disciplines of art and architecture for viewers.
In anticipation of Sarah Morris’s Chicago in the exhibition CITY SELF, the MCA hosts a preview screening followed by a conversation between Morris and Manilow Senior Curator Dieter Roelstraete.
Sarah Morris is an internationally recognized painter and filmmaker, known for her complex abstractions, which play with architecture and the psychology of urban environments. Morris views her paintings as parallel to her films—both trace urban, social, and bureaucratic topologies. In both these media, she explores the psychology of the contemporary city and its architecturally encoded politics. Morris assesses what today’s urban structures, bureaucracies, cities, and nations might conceal and surveys how a particular moment can be inscribed and embedded into its visual surfaces. Often, these non-narrative fictional analyses result in studies of conspiratorial power, structures of control, and the mapping of global socio-political networks.
Amanda Ross-Ho and Julie Rodrigues Widholm, Pamela Alper Associate Curator, discuss the new MCA plaza project, THE CHARACTER AND SHAPE OF ILLUMINATED THINGS, including its inspirations, background, and construction.
Susan Miller, curator of Modern Cartoonist: The Art of Daniel Clowes, engages Clowes in a conversation about his practice, his connections to Chicago, and the genesis of the exhibition.
Daniel Clowes, born in Chicago in 1961, is an internationally celebrated comic book artist and graphic novelist. To date, he has published nearly 50 comic books and graphic novels includingGhost World, Art School Confidential, Lloyd Llewellyn, David Boring, Ice Haven, The Death-Ray,Wilson, Mister Wonderful, and in 1989, the groundbreaking comic book series Eightball. Clowes gained wide recognition in 2001 with the release of Ghost World, the Terry Zwigoff-directed, Academy Award-nominated film for which he wrote the screenplay. This was followed in 2006 by the release of the film Art School Confidential, based in part on his own schooling. Clowes is also a highly acclaimed magazine illustrator with work appearing in Time, Newsweek, GQ, and many other magazines. Beginning in 2007, Clowes became a regular cover artist for The New Yorker and created the twenty-episode series Mister Wonderful for the New York Times Magazine.
Susan Miller is an independent curator and producer with a career focus on regional art and culture. She has organized surveys and books on Bay Area artists including Daniel Clowes, Tony Labat, Jim Pomeroy, and Jeanne Finley. Modern Cartoonist: The Art of Daniel Clowes is now touring the US with presentations at the Oakland Museum of California, MCA Chicago, and the Wexner Center, Ohio. From 1993 to 2005, she was the executive director of San Francisco’s New Langton Arts. She is currently organizing a touring exhibition and book on media artist Doug Hall as well as developing the Consortium for Interdisciplinary Research, a new research unit for UC Berkeley
Longtime family friends and Oak Park natives Tavi Gevinson and Jonah Ansell discuss their work on Cadaver, and the transformation of the story from short film to graphic novel. Heidi Reitmaier, Beatrice C. Mayer Director of Education, moderates the conversation.