Home Base: Michael Darling, Michelle Grabner, and Lane Relyea in Conversation


Drew Heitzler

Drew Heitzler at The Suburban, May 2009. Photo credit: The Suburban.

What does it mean to characterize an artist by where they live and work? And similarly, what does it mean for a collection to be of a place — to reflect a museum’s history and artistic community, to be shaped by the dynamics of a city, to be used by and be seen as part of the locale where it lives? The MCA’s new James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator Michael Darling, artist and writer Michelle Grabner, and critic Lane Relyea delve into these questions, looking at examples from the United States and internationally. Recorded Tuesday, November 16, 2010, 6 pm.

Helen Molesworth on Luc Tuymans


Helen Molesworth

Helen Molesworth. Photo Credit: John Kennard.

Helen Molesworth, co-curator of the exhibition Luc Tuymans, discusses Tuymans’s work. She helps us contextualize it and consider how the mechanisms he uses intentionally establish a psychically charged relationship between the viewers, his subjects, and the paintings themselves. Tuesday, October 26, 2010, 6 pm.

Calder and Contemporary Art II: Sculpting with Air


Martin Boyce

Martin Boyce, Fear Meets the Soul, 2008. Courtesy the artist, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York and Modern Institute/Toby Webster, Ltd., Glasgow. Photo: Jean Vong

Modern master Alexander Calder treated air as material, mobility as strategy, and sculptural form as carefully balanced prop. In this closing conversation, UCLA professor and art historian George Baker, and Glasgow-based artist Martin Boyce, look at the roots of these approaches in Calder’s sculptures and in Boyce’s own work, and help us consider their current relevance in an increasingly provisional, weightless, and contingent world. Recorded Saturday, October 16, 2010, 3 pm.

History, Violence, Disquiet


Luc Tuymans

Luc Tuymans, Leopard, 2000; Collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; © Luc Tuymans; photo by Ben Blackwell; courtesy David Zwirner, New York

How do we reckon with modern history’s traumas? How do the arts confront the fragmented and distancing narratives of violence presented in mass media? And how does art today conjure a psychic state that allows us to sense, question, and re-envision the collective stories of the present and past century?

This afternoon symposium explores these questions through literature, experimental theater, and visual art. Opening with an introduction by MCA Pritzker Director and Luc Tuymans co-curator Madeleine Grynsztejn, the program features a reading by writer Aleksandar Hemon; a conversation with members of the performance group Superamas; and a conversation with artist Luc Tuymans led by curator and writer Hamza Walker.

Recorded Saturday, October 2, 2010, 1 pm.

The Dialogue: The MCA Chicago’s annual conversation on museums, diversity, and inclusion


Mark Bradford

Mark Bradford. Photo by Fredrik Nilsen.

Profound changes in demographics, modes of cultural participation, and approaches to social interaction and community creation are making accessible, inclusive, and diverse cultural institutions more possible and more necessary than ever. What does an architecture of participation look like at a civically-minded, contemporary art museum?

Following an introduction by MCA Pritzker Director Madeleine Grynsztejn, museum advisor and writer Elaine Heumann Gurian, and artist Mark Bradford address the topic participation as it relates to museums, artists, and audiences. The event then turns to discussion as both audiences and speakers respond to the ideas presented.

Presented with the MCA’s Audience Development and Diversity Committee.

Recorded Wed, Sept 15, 2010, 6-8 pm.

Calder and Contemporary Art: Using the Familiar


Jason Meadows

Jason Meadows, Burlesque Fragments, 2006. Courtesy of the artist and Marc Foxx Gallery

How do artists see the familiar anew, and how can viewers do the same? In this opening conversation, MCA curator Lynne Warren engages artists Jason Meadows and Jason Middlebrook, and Calder Foundation registrar and scholar Jessica Holmes in a discussion about creative reuse in sculpture, relating contemporary methods of art making to Calder’s process and work. Recorded Saturday, June 26, 2010, 3 pm.

Kerry James Marshall: The Artist in the Studio


Kerry James Marshall

Kerry James Marshall, 7am Sunday Morning, 2003. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Joseph and Jory Shapiro Fund by exchange. © 2003 Kerry James Marshall

In his latest series of paintings and drawings, renowned artist Kerry James Marshall takes up as his subject the presence of the Black artist in his or her studio. Marshall discusses these visually stunning works and invites us to reflect on this question: how do portrayals of famous artists in their studios influence our perceptions of who is an artist? Recorded Saturday, May 22, 2010, 3 pm.

Andrea Zittel: Studio as Testing Ground


Andrea Zittel

Andrea Zittel. Studio at A-Z West. Courtesy the artist and Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York. © Andrea Zittel

Internationally renowned artist Andrea Zittel speaks about her work and describes how her studio in the high desert of California serves both as a space for exploration and as a place for crafting and presenting objects, materials, spaces and ideas. Zittel’s sculptures and installations transform everything necessary for life — such as eating, sleeping, bathing, and socializing — into experiments in living. Recorded Monday, April 5, 2010, 6 pm.

American Theater: Writing for Change


Young Jean Lee

Young Jean Lee. Photo by Gene Pittman; courtesy Walker Art Center.

Join some of today’s brightest playwrights who are saying something new about the American experience. Focussing on the migrant’s viewpoint — descendants of the Mayflowers and Amistads of history alike — they tap this moment’s national consciousness to make theater that is pumping with the music and language of the largest cross section of people to ever come together in one land. Jonathan Wilson, director of TimeLine’s ‘Master Harold’…and the Boys, moderates the discussion between Young Jean Lee, author of The Shipment; Tanya Saracho, adapter of Steppenwolf’s The House on Mango Street; Kristoffer Diaz, author of the off-Broadway bound The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Diety; and Tarrell Alvin McCraney, author of The Brother/Sister Plays. Recorded Tuesday, March 23, 2010, 6 pm.

Art as Event


Mark Jeffery and Judd Morrissey

Mark Jeffery and Judd Morrissey, The Precession (Living Newspaper Version), 2009.
Photo by: John W. Sisson Jr.

Since the early part of the 20th century, artists have created works that might best be described as events: situated in place, unfolding in time, and often performative or interactive in approach, these works ask the audience to reconsider the very nature of the art experience. In recent years, event-based artworks and actions have proliferated in museums, galleries, and public spaces in Chicago and elsewhere. Moderated by art historian Irene V. Small, this panel discussion looks at the modes of art making and motivations that are leading artists to produce event-based works today, while connecting these current activities to earlier moments in the history of contemporary art. Panelists include artists Laurie Palmer, Adam Pendleton, collaborators Mark Jeffery and Judd Morrissey, and MCA Associate Curator Tricia Van Eck. Recorded Saturday, March 13, 2010, 3 pm.