Saturday, August 24, 2013

Visit to the MCA

Sunny, clear skies, eighty degree was the perfect day to walk along Chicago Avenue to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art to view its current exhibitions (I put emphasis on ‘’perfect’’ because there’s free admission on Tuesdays).

BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works features art by mix media artist, José Lerma. José Lerma conveys the connections between painting and history. His installations presented nontraditional materials such as backdrop paper, carpet, and a mirror as a canvas. The usage of nontraditional materials support Lerma’s way of depicting forgotten historic figures by using ‘’forgotten’’ objects. Audible elements were also utilized created by canvases hitting keys of miniature keyboards in both his pieces Portrait of Norman and John and Midissage. The sound and usage of cool-colored light gave the show a dream-like effect.

MCA DNA: Chicago Conceptual Abstraction features artists Tony Tasset, Gregory Green, Dan Peterman, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, and Mike Kelley, and others. This exhibition helped me to comprehend the connection between abstract and nature. Tony Tasset’s Domestic Abstraction displays the imagery of cowhide, guiding the viewer to identify shapes and forms within the work. I also concluded this idea from Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle’s Twin. Gregory Green’s Thirty One Blade Wall Installation seems to focus on the idea of how humanity can be unaware or unmoved towards the presence of violence when presented in a particular form or manner. Focusing on the shape and arrangement of the saw blades dilutes the alert of danger.  The media is a prime example of this.

The Homebodies exhibition focuses on space within the home environment, featuring artists like George Segal, Frank Halmans, Alberto Aguilar, Adrian Piper, Alexandre da Cunha, Hurvin Anderson, Rachel Whiteread, Marina Abramović, Doug Aitken, Guy Ben-Ner, and Martha Rosler. Although this exhibition didn’t greatly strike my interests, there were some admirable works, such as Doug Aitken's HOUSE (i don't know). While viewing this piece, I developed conflicting ideas: ‘’is the house being destroyed or built? Is the chaos of the house being revived?’’ A viewer’s first assumption may be destruction, but the artist’s intentions may be otherwise.

Modern Cartoonist features the art of cartoonist, Daniel Clowes. Although I was unable to attend the exhibition tour with the Museum’s curator, Lynne Warren, this past Friday, I immediately understood the artist’s character and intentions through his work. Clowes is best known for his comic-series, graphic novels, screenplays, and magazine covers like Eight Ball, Death Ray, and Ghost World. His humorous approaches of modern scenarios are personal, dark, and relatable, like his one page comic series, Wilson. I admired how he used himself as the subject to create visual memorials of comical moments. It was enjoyable to hear viewers laughing and snickering around me. His hilarious comic, Pussey, also demonstrated relatable scenarios, though directed towards the challenges of the comic-book industry. All jokes aside, Clowes displays the chronology of Chicago’s comic history and the evolution of his sketches to a finish product.

These exhibitions were definitely worth traveling in the scorching heat to see. View all these exhibitions before they end! 

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