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Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago partners with the Chicago Architecture Biennial
Claes Oldenburg, Sculpture in the Form of a Fried Egg, 1966/71. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Anne and William J. Hokin. © 1964 Claes Oldenburg. Photo © MCA Chicago.

CHICAGO, IL.- The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is a partner of the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, and in celebration of this city-wide cultural event, the MCA presents four exhibitions, four programs, and a pop-up shop of design objects. Each showcases architectural innovation within the contemporary art community. The MCA celebrates and cultivates the multidisciplinary ways in which artists work, and the exhibitions and programs that run concurrent to the biennial highlight the intersection of creativity and functionality that is integral to contemporary architecture and design.

Pop Art Design
December 19, 2015 - March 27, 2016

Pop Art is widely regarded as the most significant artistic movement since 1945. Reflecting on the cult of celebrity, commodity fetishism, and media reproduction that permeated everyday life in the post-war era, Pop Art continues to shape our society's cultural understanding to this day. A central characteristic of Pop Art was the dialogue between design and art, which is now being explored in Pop Art Design, organized by the Vitra Design Museum as the first-ever comprehensive exhibition on the topic. Works by such artists as Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Roy Lichtenstein, or Mel Ramos are paired with design objects by Charles Eames, George Nelson, Achille Castiglioni, and Ettore Sottsass. This exhibition shows how design was an equal dialogue partner for Pop Art, in some cases even the lead impetus. At the same time, it demonstrates that many everyday objects and the Radical Design of the 1960s were serious facets of the Pop movement. Instead of merely celebrating the zeitgeist of an epoch, the exhibition seeks to take a more detailed look at the Pop phenomenon: the migration of motifs between art and design; the relationship between object and image; and how everyday life first came under the still-dominant influence of pop culture. This perspective holds particular relevance today as it examines Pop Art's relationship to our own daily lives and the consumer culture that remains so omnipresent. The Chicago presentation of this exhibition is organized by MCA Chief Curator Michael Darling.

BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works: Ania Jaworska
August 25, 2015 - January 31, 2016

This exhibition is the first solo show of Ania Jaworska, a trained architect and designer, who explores the history of architecture and its relationship to society through two new projects that reveal a stage in the architect's process. In the first project, Jaworska creates a site-specific installation of large, monochromatic black sculptures that reference common architectural elements such as arches, obelisks, gates, and signs. Set in a dark gallery space and removed from their traditional context of community, place, and time, the sculptures lose their symbolic importance and function. Her approach to the visual language of architecture is marked by humor, irony, and a use of bold, minimalist forms. The exhibition also features a series of drawings commenting on the history and current state of columns, exploring their trajectory from symbols of power and status, to open-ended forms that are often deployed with irony or cynicism. The exhibition is organized by Grace Deveney, the MCA Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow.

Johnston Marklee: Grid is a Grid is a Grid is a Grid is a Grid
October 1, 2015 - January 3, 2016

The Los Angeles-based architecture firm Johnston Marklee, led by principals Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, has been hired by the MCA to create a master plan for the museum that includes a redesign and relocation of the restaurant as well as changes to other public spaces. To coincide with the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, Johnston Marklee have designed an intervention in the museum's current café space that refers to the predominant grid of the building's original architect, Josef Paul Kleihues, as well as hints at some aspects of the renovations to come. Their immersive installation further emphasizes the proportions of the MCA's grid system by applying a repeating square graphic on the café walls, as well as creating a gridded translucent ceiling plane that cuts the double height space in half, hinting at a more intimate scale. This dropped ceiling plane alludes to one aspect of the Johnston Marklee redesign of the space, where a mezzanine floor may be inserted into this space to create rooms for artmaking and meetings above, and a social engagement space below.

MCA Chicago Plaza Project: Alexandre da Cunha
July 18, 2015 - July 24, 2016

Brazilian artist Alexandre da Cunha is the fifth artist chosen for the MCA's summer plaza project series. Da Cunha is known for finding creative ways to repurpose found objects-straw hats, plastic soda bottles, umbrellas-and the MCA Plaza is activated by three of his interactive pieces, one measuring thirty-feet tall, made from locally-produced concrete sewer pipes, and a concrete mixer. The materials have been repurposed from their typical locations-under Chicago's city streets or on the back of a cement truck-and made accessible for visitors to step inside or peer into and see shadows revealed as sunlight filters down into them. This exhibition is curated by MCA Chief Curator Michael Darling.

Today's News

August 31, 2015

National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City exhibits the enigmatic Calakmul mask

Japanese toilet giant flipping open new museum dedicated to a century of lavatories

Palm Springs Art Museum opens the acclaimed exhibition 'Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe'

'Mito e Natura: Dalla Grecia a Pompei' on view at the Palazzo Reale in Milan for Expo 2015

Bruce Museum curator authors a paper on the reconstruction a 34 million year old penguin's brain

Chinese paintings and works of art rich in symbolism characterize Gianguan Auctions' September 12th Sale

Volkswagen launches cultural engagement initiative in China with opening of the Rain Room

First one-man-show of Korean artist Kwang Young Chun's work opens at Beck & Eggeling

Over and Some Touch of...: Group exhibition opens at CACT Centro d'Arte Contemporanea Ticino

Contemporary art installation at Smithsonian's Sackler Gallery explores images of Egypt

Craft in America episode focuses on how fine handmade instruments are crafted

Solo exhibition of new works by artist Cecilia Paredes opens at Ruiz-Healy Art

Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago partners with the Chicago Architecture Biennial

New book presents Eric Maillet's entire body of personal photographic work

Young French photographer Jean-Vincent Simonet opens exhibition in Amsterdam

First major solo exhibition of visual artist Anne de Vries opens at Foam

Pablo Helguera's 'Librería Donceles' opens at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle

Jailed filmmaker inspires Ukraine with bestselling book

Hongkong Land presents 'Parallel Worlds: Where Art & Archaeology Collide'

Hundreds protest smashing of 'Mephistopheles' figure in Saint Petersburg

Migrant drama hits European screens in film 'Mediterranea'

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