Speed is both a product of modern life and an agent of it. In the late 19th century and through the 20th, new technologies of mobility and transmission—trains, cars, airplanes, radio, film, television, to name only a few—increased the pace of life, collapsing distances between people and places and assaulting the senses. Intense new physical sensations and visual phenomena meant that speed could be experienced as either euphoric or terrifying; in our sightlines speed vibrates with a zoom, rush, blur, and crash. At the same time, the urge to document speed led to slow-motion or stop-motion, new visual conventions of freezing time.
Go, the second exhibition in the Art Institute’s Modern Series, explores how artists responded to different ways of experiencing and seeing the world in the accelerated modern age. The show offers a range of sensory encounters: slow down and consider how a photographer’s blur might correspond to the efficient contours of a streamlined chair. Does a spinning gear buzz in the same way as an optical pattern? Do swiftly scribbled gestures in paint and the fuzz of a staticky screen exist on the same continuum of hyper-stimulation? Where is the line between stop-motion and suspension, between capturing what the eye cannot see on its own and the illusion of stillness the experience of great speed can produce?
Through paintings, sculpture, works on paper, photographs, designed objects, textiles, books, and films, Go reveals not only how speed has been celebrated but also how it has been managed and resisted. Thus, as a title, Go summons both the initiation of movement—a launch—and a kind of ongoingness.
About The Modern Series A quintessentially modern city, Chicago has been known as a place for modern art for over a century, and the Art Institute of Chicago has been central to this history. The Modern Series exhibitions are designed to bring together the museum’s acclaimed holdings of modern art across all media, display them in fresh and innovative ways within new intellectual contexts, and demonstrate the continued vitality and relevance of modern art today.
The online catalogue is generously underwritten by Sylvia Neil and Daniel Fischel.
Go is funded in part by a grant from
Major support is also provided by the Jack and Peggy Crowe Fund.
Annual support for Art Institute exhibitions is provided by the Exhibitions Trust: Neil Bluhm and the Bluhm Family Charitable Foundation; Jay Franke and David Herro; Kenneth Griffin; Caryn and King Harris, The Harris Family Foundation; Liz and Eric Lefkofsky; Robert M. and Diane v.S. Levy; Ann and Samuel M. Mencoff; Thomas and Margot Pritzker; Anne and Chris Reyes; Betsy Bergman Rosenfield and Andrew M. Rosenfield; Cari and Michael J. Sacks; the Earl and Brenda Shapiro Foundation; and the Woman’s Board.
1 day 3 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW OPEN—Abstract Experiments: Latin American Art on Paper after 1950
During the mid-20th century, Latin American artists were active in the evolving international discourse on modernity, at a time of industrial expansion and political transformation in South America.
Abstract Experiments provides an illuminating complement to Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium and reflects the Art Institute’s recent efforts to expand its holdings of Latin American painting, sculpture, and works on paper.
1 day 22 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW OPEN—Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium
The Art Institute presents the first U.S. retrospective of this groundbreaking Brazilian artist. A relentless innovator always pushing the boundaries of art, Oiticica is arguably the most influential Latin American artist of the post–World War II period and is recognized for inspiring Tropicália, a powerful movement that influenced art across media in Brazil.
In addition to viewing his early works on paper, visitors are invited to take off their shoes and walk through immersive sand-filled installations, view Amazonian parrots, and try on wearable objects designed by the artist.
1 day 23 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago Whitney will be taking over our Instagram for the next 24 hours. Follow along to see posts from Max and Julien’s visit to the museum.