New on View

The museum continually acquires new works by gift or by purchase that expand the stories that we tell in our galleries.

Untitled (Unknown) #4

Rodney McMillian’s Untitled (Unknown) #4 (2006)

Gallery 189

Both McMillian’s photograph and the subject of the photograph—a plaster cast—are infinitely reproducible, implying a repetition of form based on tradition. The artist's combination of the cast and the photograph highlights the similar perpetuation of the cultural status quo in America, a question McMillian brings to light often in his body of work.

A Siren beside a Ship

Mark Bradford’s A Siren beside a Ship (2014)

Gallery 295

The densely-textured surface of Bradford’s work here is made of found materials from the artist’s home neighborhood in Los Angeles, sanded down and re-layered. The shape and striation recall a wave, with the title referencing the Sirens of Greek mythology, bringing together an allure and an urgency to the mixed-media work.

Untitled (lungs)

Rodney McMillian’s Untitled (lungs) (2008–13)

Gallery 293

McMillian’s lungs combines painting and sculpture, organic and inorganic form, and enormity and delicacy to create these lush yet ominous objects. The inherent juxtaposition of the work manifests current political and social tensions through their insistent physicality.

Finnish Painting

William Pope.L’s Finnish Painting (2015)

Gallery 293

An enigmatic amalgam of Abstract Expressionist style and viscerally rendered poetry, Finnish Painting acknowledges a struggle in understanding and interpreting other people. The last word of the poem, and one of the few legible words, is “decode,” mirroring the viewer’s experience trying to decode the work itself.

Dragon and TIger

Kishi Ganku's Dragon and Tiger (1835)

Gallery 109

Ganku’s last known images of the dragon and the tiger, this pair of screens depicts the earth- and sky-based subjects to highlight their nature as opposites, according to Taoist beliefs. Black ink brings the creatures to life over a smooth gold surface, showcasing Ganku’s eccentric and energetic style.


Yoko Ono’s MENDED PETAL (2016)

Pritzker Garden

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.

Statuette of a Horse

Statuette of a Horse (750/730 B.C.), Greece

Gallery 151

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.

Chung Sang-Hwa’s Untitled 72–12–A

Chung Sang-Hwa’s Untitled 72–12–A (1972)

Gallery 297

This work falls into the tansaekhwa (monochrome painting) movement from postwar Japan, with the artist first applying then removing the paint to create the work.

Park Seo-Bo’s Ecriture 46–73

Park Seo-Bo’s Ecriture 46–73 (1973)

Gallery 297

Park’s paintings come from drawing frenetic pencil lines through wet, white paint, concerned more with process and erasure of process than with product.

Ha Chong-Hyun’s Conjunction 79–31

Ha Chong-Hyun’s Conjunction 79–31 (1979)

Gallery 297

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 Conjunction series.

Ha Chong-Hyun’s Conjunction 81–79

Ha Chong-Hyun’s Conjunction 81–79 (1979)

Gallery 297

The dark blue of this work alludes to the color of giwa, traditional Korean roof tiles. Ha’s desire was “not to paint pictures, but to try and destroy the structure known as picture.”

Yun Hyong-Keun’s Burnt Umber and Ultramarine

Yun Hyong-Keun’s Burnt Umber and Ultramarine (1974)

Gallery 297

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 Shozo’s Untitled

Shimamoto Shozo’s Untitled (1957)

Gallery 294

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.

Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc’s Reliquary

Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc’s Reliquary (about 1851)

Gallery 231

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.

Paul Sérusier’s The Harvest of Buckwheat (La moisson du blé noir)

Paul Sérusier’s The Harvest of Buckwheat (La moisson du blé noir) (1899)

Gallery 241

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 del Piombo’s Christ Carrying the Cross

Sebastiano del Piombo’s Christ Carrying the Cross (1515/1517)

Gallery 205

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.

Altar set

Altar set (1644–1911), Qing dynasty, China

Gallery 134

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

Dish with Floral and Fruit Sprays (1488–1505), Ming dynasty, China

Gallery 134

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 Manufacturing Company’s Tureen

Gorham Manufacturing Company’s Tureen (1883)

Gallery 175

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.

Cassava Fermentation Vessel

Frarasia Bukusi's Cassava Fermentation Vessel (Late 20th century), Nyakyusa, Ikombe Village, southern Tanzania

Gallery 137

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.

Elie Nadelman’s Female Dancer

Elie Nadelman’s Female Dancer (about 1920)

Gallery 265

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’s Involvement Series

Wanda Pimentel’s Involvement Series (1968)

Gallery 297C

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.