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Works by Zachary Cahill on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Zachary Cahill, The Future, 2013. Courtesy of the artist and USSA 2012.

CHICAGO, IL.- The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago presents BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works: Zachary Cahill, Chicago-based artist Cahill’s third phase of his long-term USSA 2012 project, which explores the roles that art and institutions play in society. This phase of the project is titled Snow. Organized by the MCA’s Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow Abigail Winograd, the exhibition is on view April 29 to September 16, 2014.

For his exhibition, Cahill invites visitors to enter the USSA 2012: Wellness Center, an installation divided into three distinct sections -- a welcome center, a library, and an art gallery. In creating a retreat within the museum, Snow considers the costs and benefits of withdrawing from society in response to an individual or collective trauma, such as the recent global economic recession.

Drawing on a variety of sources, including Thomas Mann’s novel The Magic Mountain (1924); the Overlook Hotel from Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel The Shining; and the tradition of Northern Romantic and German Expressionist painting, Cahill evokes a turn-of-the-twentieth-century European sanatorium to consider whether art can be a place of refuge. The spaces bring together Cahill’s paintings, sculptures, and writings to explore the implications of art as a therapeutic exercise.

Snow marks the third phase of Cahill’s USSA 2012 project, which builds upon his previous works The Orphanage Project (2011) and The People’s Palace’s Gift Shop (2012), in which he re-imagined an orphanage and a gift shop, respectively. Exhibited concurrently with Cahill’s MCA exhibition is his USSA 2012: Wellness Center Idyllic - affair of the heart at the Smart Museum of Art.

Interdisciplinary artist Cahill earned a MFA from the University of Chicago, where he is currently the Open Practice Committee Coordinator and teaches in the Department of Visual Arts. He has presented his work in New York, Germany, and Denmark, as well as Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art and threewalls, among other galleries and institutions. In 2012, he participated in The Retreat: A Position of dOCUMENTA (13), a residency at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada. He has been associated with Our Literal Speed, a collective of artists, critics, and scholars, and his writings have appeared in Mousse Magazine, Journal of Visual Culture, RETHINKING MARXISM, Shifter Magazine, and he is a regular contributor to

The BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works exhibition series showcases the best new work being made in Chicago, regardless of the status of the artist’s career, whether emerging or established, mid-career or undergoing reinvention.

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