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.
Go is funded in part by a grant from
Major support is also provided by the Jack and Peggy Crowe Fund.
The online catalogue is generously underwritten by Sylvia Neil and Daniel Fischel.
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 ON VIEW—Kemang Wa Lehulere: In All My Wildest Dreams
Artist Kemang Wa Lehulere describes his work as a “protest against forgetting,” reenacting what he calls “deleted scenes” from South African history through a masterful conflation of personal and collective storytelling. See his first American museum show, In All My Wildest Dreams—on view through January 16.
1 day 7 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW ON VIEW—A new photography rotation showcases groundbreaking Contemporary works from artists like John Baldessari, Sally Mann, Chuck Close, Barbara Kruger, among others—on view in Gallery 10 through January 2.
Image: Richard Misrach. Untitled #696–05, from series On the Beach, 2005. Gift of the artist.
2 days 4 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago Toulouse-Lautrec’s work increased the visibility of lesbians in 19th-century Paris, portraying them in a sympathetic light when prevailing perceptions were anything but favorable.