If you’ve visited the contemporary galleries in the Modern Wing, you will notice that they begin with an ordered chronology that starts in 1945. Once you walk past examples of Pop art, Minimalism, and painting from the 1960s and 1970s, monographic rooms— focusing on one artist’s work—interrupt the movement-based ordering.
Since the inaugural installation some of these rooms have shifted slightly and others have been completely reinstalled for various reasons. Some galleries rotated due to conservation restrictions for works on paper. These restrictions are specific to each piece, but installation is typically limited to 3 to 6 months. For example Richter’s large suite of Untitled drawings from 2005 were recently replaced with two paintings and the Mel Bochner monographic room of small sculptures, drawings, and gelatin silver prints is now dedicated to works by Georg Baselitz, including the large painting Woodman (Waldarbeiter), 1969 and three works on paper. Due to the light sensitive materials that Eva Hesse utilized in certain sculptures, one piece made of fiberglass and resin was replaced with Sequel, 1967–68, which will also not be on view for long because its main material is latex. Sometimes, our curators make the decision to rotate a work out of monographic rooms to show another side of an artist. This happened with Bruce Nauman’s Clown Torture, 1987, (see above) which was replaced in December with an earlier film entitled Dance or Exercise on the Perimeter of a Square (Square Dance), 1967–68.
Two galleries that are slotted to rotate roughly every 6 months were also recently reinstalled. For the opening of the Modern Wing, Kerry James Marshall’s Vignette Suite, 2005–2008 was on view in gallery 291 B. A few weeks ago, this was replaced by an installation of Richard Rezac’s elegant, deceptively simple sculptures, such as Curtain, 1997; Veil, 1987; and Untitled (04–05), 2004. Jim Nutt’s installation in gallery 296 C (see above), which included the classic Miss E. Knows, 1967 alongside two recent gifts, is now dedicated to paintings by Christina Ramberg, an artist who exhibited with the Chicago Imagists in 1968 and 1969. Some of these works are loaned from private collections, while other are in our collection, including Parallel Manipulation, 1977 and Loose Beauty, 1973.
If you haven’t visited in a while, stop by to see the changes that have occurred. We’ll keep you posted on ARTicle regarding future rotations.