The museum continually acquires new works by gift or by purchase that expand the stories that we tell in our galleries.
Yoko Ono’s MENDED PETAL (2016)
This sculpture represents the 13th petal from Yoko Ono’s installation SKYLANDING, a 12-petal lotus in Chicago’s Jackson Park that rises from the ashes of the Phoenix Pavilion. In contrast to the smooth petals of SKYLANDING, MENDED PETAL has visible seams of repair, symbolically commemorating the ground-healing ceremony held by the artist in June 2015 through which she prepared the site of the lost Phoenix Pavilion for her new work.
The Greek people’s worship of the Olympian deities included the ritual dedication of gifts (votives) at sacred sites. These offerings took a variety of forms, but statuettes of horses had special significance as symbols of affluence. This bronze sculpture is one of the finest such votive statuettes to survive from antiquity.
Ha developed an innovative painting technique—bae-ap-bup (back-pressure method)—by which he applied oil paint to the back of hemp canvases and pressed the paint through to the painting’s front, a technique he used for his landmark
Yun’s use of diluted paint evokes the Korean ink painting traditions and led many critics to conclude that his practice was intentionally representative of Korean tradition, a notion against which the artist fought, claiming, “in trying to
create something Korean, it actually ends up being not Korean… Being Korean has to come out absent-mindedly.”
Shimamoto was co-founder of postwar Japan’s Gutai Art Association, the nation’s most significant avant-garde collective. This piece was created through performance, by shooting bags of paint from a cannon and throwing glass bottles filled
with paint against the canvas.
Viollet-le-Duc created faithful copies of church decorative arts in the wake of the French Revolution, when the country’s ecclesiastical heritage was destroyed. This particular reliquary is significant here in Chicago, as Viollet-le-Duc knew Chicagoan
and architect Louis Sullivan when the latter was studying in Paris, and Viollet-le-Duc’s influence can be found in Sullivan’s designs.
Sérusier belonged to a group of avant-garde Post-Impressionist known as Nabis. This painting is a particularly strong example of Sérusier’s early Nabi aesthetic, interweaving the influence of Japanese prints, the Breton countryside,
and the Nabis’ signature approach to perspective, color, and line.
Sebastiano’s depiction of Christ carrying the cross has dramatic visual impact in the expressions of the figures, in the diagonals lines created by the cross, and the luminous background. This work is a significant addition to the museum’s
holdings of central Italian paintings.
The five vessels in this set would have been the focus of either Buddhist or Confucian spiritual ceremonies. Each vessel is painted with the Eight Buddhist Emblems over a lime green background—a color perhaps inspired by enameled metalwork introduced
to China from Europe.
Dish with Floral and Fruit Sprays (1488–1505), Ming dynasty, China
Yellow and underglaze-blue dishes of this type are among the most treasured Ming dynasty porcelains in China; they are particularly rare, making this example, covered in traditional motifs, an exquisite acquisition for the Art Institute.
Gorham was the first major American silver company to introduce Japanese-inspired designs to their product line, with this particular vessel featuring interpretations of Asian motifs, likely drawn from print sources: giant carp and a turtle thrash in
violent waters, suggesting the movement of the sea.
Max Kuehne combined his training as a painter with newfound interest in Spanish woodworking inspired by the Renaissance to create decorative arts. This particular work recalls Persian miniature paintings in its design, with Kuehne’s proclivity for
incorporating modern elements inspired by non-Western cultures.
Lalaisse captured the picturesque costumes of Breton girls for reproduction in the 1844–51 book series Galerie amoricaine: Costumes et vues pittoresques de la Bretagne (Amoricaine Gallery: Costumes and Scenic Views of Brittany), several
decades before Paul Gauguin recast similar subjects in his search for the pure and the primitive in the same region of France.
Jean-Baptiste Mallet specialized in small gouaches (opaque watercolors) of enigmatic subjects. This work, arranged like an implausible stage set, features a monk-like character and an old man wearing a Phrygian cap reprimanding a family who must have
fallen on difficult times, given the carpet and ornamental birdcage the decorate a farm building.
This important study for a lost painting of the same name made its debut at the annual exhibition of Belgian avant-garde society, Les XX (The Twenty), in 1891. The most ambitious of Lemmen’s first Neo-Impressionist works, this composition
depicts his sister, mother, and grandmother.
This Nyakyusa beer storage container from southern Tanzania features a repeated arching motif—or mahena—created with a burnt red pigment. While the identity of most Nyakyusa ceramicists is unknown, records preserve the name of this vessel’s creator, Frarasia Bukusi.
Liz Deschenes’s approach to photography is steeped in modernist abstraction and Bauhaus traditions. With this work, she took two color photograms, exposed until jet black and processed them to yield a faintly mirror-like surface, recalling Bauhaus
professor Herbert Bayer’s sketch of the viewing range of the human eye.
American modernist Elie Nadelman was fascinated by folk art, amassing his own considerable collection with his wife. With his own practice in the style, Nadelman found a means of expressing the modern times by allowing his figures to appear as they are,
in real life, through simplified modernist forms.
Wanda Pimentel emerged within Brazil’s 1960s New Figuration movement, which used Pop-inflected representation as a form of sardonic commentary on and resistance to the country’s dictatorial government, the rise of consumer culture, and the
constraints imposed on women. In her Involvement Series, Pimentel offers a scene of everyday objects, representing consumerism, with two disembodied feet crowded into the canvas. The figures are fragmented, but the colors are vivid and urgent.
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 3 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.