With the largest collection of work by the artist in the United States, the Art Institute of Chicago
presents Steve McQueen, the first museum survey devoted to his career. Fourteen of McQueens works, including the never-before-seen End Credits (2012), is expansively presented in the Art Institutes Regenstein Hall from October 21, 2012 through January 6, 2013, offering visitors a rare opportunity to immerse themselves in his captivating and incisive art. Co-organized with Schaulager Basel, the exhibition will be on view in Switzerland from March 1 through July 7, 2013.
One of todays leading visual artists, McQueen combines formal and spatial explorations with a potent, and at times confrontational, political consciousness. His moving-image works take a tight focus on the world and explore a manifold of themes, including exoticism, relationships, and violence, all while combining and recombining the fundamental elements of the moving image: light and darkness, motion and stillness, inactivity and change. Equally important to McQueen are the conditions of viewing and the aesthetics of installation, which serve to construct an environment in which layers are stripped away, familiar icons and images are destabilized, and meaning is questioned. The result is a multifaceted and transformative relationship between the work and the viewerwatching a musician record a vocal performance, then, can become a journey to the edges of the singers consciousness.
Steve McQueen consists of 12 moving-image works as well as Mees, After Evening Dip, New Years Day, 2002 (2005), a photographic lightbox, and Queen and Country (2006), his installation created as an official British war artist, which has never before been seen outside the United Kingdom. The exhibition spans his career, from Bear (1993), which was completed while he was finishing his studies at Goldsmiths College in London, to End Credits, which will debut at the Art Institute to mark this first major solo exhibition. End Credits is a radical and sobering look at the legendary African American singer and social activist Paul Robeson (18981976). McQueen has envisioned the main structure of the work as one related to the conclusion of every feature film, the rolling credits. In End Credits, however, the back-story becomes the narrative, raising issues that are both historical and current.
Also included in the exhibition are:
Five Easy Pieces (1995)
Just Above My Head (1996)
Girls, Tricky (2001), which was the inaugural moving-image work shown at the opening of the Art Institutes Modern Wing in 2009
Western Deep/Caribs Leap (2002)
Born in London in 1969, Steve McQueen attended the Chelsea School of Art and Goldsmiths College in London and the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. McQueens works have been exhibited widely and are in the collections of museums around the world, including the Guggenheim Museum, Tate Modern, Centre Georges Pompidou, and the Art Institute of Chicago. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 1999 and represented Britain at the 2009 Venice Biennale. Since 2002 an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, McQueen was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2011 New Year Honours for services to the visual arts. He lives and works in Amsterdam and London.