Steve McQueen is an internationally acclaimed artist whose work is primarily engaged with moving images. Born in London in 1969, he has, over the last twenty years, made a series of film and video installations designed for gallery-based presentation, along with two feature films made for cinematic release. His efforts in these two distinct, but interrelated, arenas have earned him a reputation as one of the most important and influential artists of his generation working with these media, and beyond. McQueen's earliest works are silent, and mostly black-and-white, often with a focus on the body, very often the artist’s own. Subsequent pieces incorporate, as a general rule, sound and color, and often emerge from more elaborate investigations.
McQueen has been equally concerned with the act of recording moving images as he is with the specific conditions in which these images are presented. The size of the screen, the dimensions of the room, and the relationship between the viewer and the projection itself are all fundamental considerations. McQueen's thinking about formal and spatial relationships in this regard lends a sculptural element to his art. One work in particular, Queen and Country (2007–09), is an entirely sculptural installation with no moving image or sound component. Presented here for the first time outside of the United Kingdom, the work is a memorial to British men and women killed in military service during the most recent war in Iraq.
Most of McQueen's oeuvre—including his gallery-based installations as well as feature films—evidences a potent, at times oblique, political consciousness. Many works address specific social and historical moments in ways that seemingly emerge from documentary or journalistic impulses. Other films are more abstract, their meanings shaped by allegory or metaphor. McQueen always communicates directly to viewers through what one writer termed "the medium of aesthetic affect."
This exhibition is coorganized by the Art Institute of Chicago and Schaulager, Basel, Switzerland.
Lead sponsorship is provided by Donna and Howard Stone. Major funding is provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Lannan Foundation.
Cosponsorship is provided by Stephanie Skestos Gabriele and James Gabriele, Patty and Mark McGrath, and Barbara Ruben. Additional funding is provided by Judith Neisser, Penelope Steiner, the Consulate General of The Netherlands in New York, and Laurenz Foundation.
Generous annual support is also provided by the Exhibitions Trust: Goldman Sachs, Kenneth and Anne Griffin, Thomas and Margot Pritzker, the Earl and Brenda Shapiro Foundation, the Trott Family Foundation, and the Woman's Board of the Art Institute of Chicago.
14 hours 52 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago COMING SOON—Provoke: Photography in Japan between Protest and Performance, 1960–75
The short-lived Tokyo magazine Provoke is now recognized as a major achievement in world photography of the last 50 years. A major international traveling show, which has Chicago as its only North American venue, this exhibition is the first survey of postwar Japanese art to be organized at the Art Institute and draws heavily on the the museum’s collection—more than 60% of the over 200 items on display belong to the Art Institute.
OPENING JANUARY 28—http://bit.ly/2jMlnUx
18 hours 4 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW ON VIEW—The Italian–born American artist Josef Stella revisited his native Italy in 1922, where he became fascinated by Renaissance painting. Drawing inspiration from Sandro Botticelli, Stella began to produce decorative, detailed, symbolic compositions, such as A Vision (seen here). Stella was enthralled by the tropical plants he observed at the Bronx Botanical Garden in New York, and he imagined an iconic woman growing out of the earth like the towering flowers on either side of her.
The French–born American artist Gaston Lachaise found his own iconic inspiration for the sculpture, Woman (Elevation), in Isabel Dutaud Nagle, whom he later married, telling her, “I want to create a miracle with it… as great as you.” This sculpture represents Lachaise’s first full-scale expression of the idealized female form that would come to dominate his art. Modernists like Lachaise believed preclassical art possessed a primitive vitality absent from later art forms.
See Josef Stella’s A Vision (1925/26) and Gaston Lachaise’s Woman (Elevation) (1912–15; cast 1927)—on view in Gallery 271.
1 day 14 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW OPEN—Rodney McMillian: a great society
Our latest exhibition in the Modern Wing represents the last decade of the artist’s work in video. Grappling with the complexities of class, race, and place in America, Rodney McMillian employs elements of performance, public speaking, oral history—and his interest in the science fiction genre—to expose the social and psychological consequences of economic inequality, endemic racism, and the failed promise of freedom and prosperity for all of its citizens. While McMillian's work engages the often stark realities of history and contemporary culture, it is motivated by the potential for alternative realities and future transformation.
See Rodney McMillian: a great society on view in the Modern Wing through March 26.