April 21–September 9, 2012
Parcours, on view in the Modern Wing’s Bucksbaum Gallery, is the result of a collaboration between artists Liz Deschenes (American, b. 1966) and Florian Pumhösl (Austrian, b. 1971), in dialogue with Matthew S. Witkovsky, Richard and Ellen Sandor Chair and Curator, Department of Photography. It takes inspiration from an unrealized exhibition proposal of the 1930s by Austrian-born Bauhaus designer Herbert Bayer. Bayer wanted a series of parallel walls that would turn the gallery space into a maze, with text and the works of art themselves serving visitors as a guiding thread. Expanding on that didactic premise, Deschenes and Pumhösl have chosen just a few photographs from the permanent collection of the Art Institute and placed them like route markers on temporary walls modified expressly for this show. The artists’ own works, a set of specially tempered glass panels by Pumhösl and lustrous photograms by Deschenes, will reflect these works and the surrounding space. In conjunction with the exhibition, a blog will provide both a chronology of the development of Parcours as well as a forum for discussion.
Florence Henri. Self-Portrait, 1928. The Art Institute of Chicago, Promised gift of a private collection.