CHICAGO, IL.- The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago
presents Earthly Delights, an exhibition of paintings, sculptures, and installations, by eight artists: Balthus, Lynda Benglis, Carol Bove, Nick Cave, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Michaelangelo Pistoletto, Lari Pittman, and Yinka Shonibare. This eclectic group of artists shares an interest in challenging the themes of Minimalism; making art in pursuit of pleasure; and using beauty as a conceptual tool. Earthly Delights explores themes of beauty at a time when valuing aesthetics runs counter to many of todays artistic trends. Curated by Abigail Winograd, Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow, the exhibition is on view June 28 to November 30, 2014.
Beauty has been a dominant topic in art history for centuries, but modern and contemporary art has increasingly privileged content over aesthetics. In the last twenty years, beauty has reemerged as an artistic theme, in what some call neo-rococo, neo-camp, or neo-dandyism. The artists explore connections between art, decoration, and design, while also engaging with social issues. Their works consider pleasure, explore private moments, and exude sensuality as they challenge modernist themes.
Lynda Benglis and Carol Bove use a variety of new media in their sculptures, which address the exclusion of women from the history of Minimalism. Nick Cave, with colorful pins, sequins, and beads; and Yinka Shonibare, MBE, with his characteristic colored fabric, comment on gender and racial politics and the legacy of colonialism, as well as the histories of performance, music, and dance. Paintings and installations by Balthus, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, and Lari Pittman question taboos related to sexuality.