Museum of Contemporary Art

Above, Before & After

07 May 2016 - 16 Apr 2017

Installation view, Above, Before, and After, MCA Chicago, May 7, 2016–Apr 16, 2017 Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
7 May 2016 – 16 April 2017

The artists featured in Above, Before & After manipulate form and space to explore the relationship between art and the viewer. Selected from the MCA’s collection, the works—rarely exhibited together—were created over the span of more than 60 years in response to diverse historical and social contexts. Collectively, however, these pieces prompt a larger conversation that asks viewers to consider that art objects often achieve their fullest value when viewers approach them from multiple angles.

The exhibition’s mix of two- and three-dimensional works include the MCA’s newly acquired Edward Krasinski’s Interwencja (Intervention) (1983), as well as collection highlights by artists John Baldessari, Alexander Calder, Alfredo Jaar, John McCracken, Bruce Nauman, Lorna Simpson, and Takis. Whether explicitly political, as in Jaar’s sculpture, which draws upon histories of undocumented workers in the United States, or subtly expressed in Calder’s mobiles that activate color and line through their kinetic qualities, these works occupy spaces—imagined and real. When artists repurpose the doorframes, ceilings, and corners of the art museum, viewers are encouraged to question what they see—the artwork, the white walls, and the very ground they encounter.

This exhibition is organized by Michael Darling, James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator, and Faye Gleisser, Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow.

The exhibition is presented in the McCormick Tribune Orientation Gallery on the museum's second floor.

Tags: John Baldessari, Alexander Calder, Alfredo Jaar, Edward Krasinski, John McCracken, Bruce Nauman, Lorna Simpson, Takis