Fresh off the overwhelming success of the internationally acclaimed David Bowie Is exhibit, the Museum of Contemporary Art is powering into the future with a slew of exciting updates.
On Friday, the MCA unveiled a new multi-million dollar Vision Campaign, which includes major renovations and additions to the museum's existing space. The Vision Campaign was created to support the museum's highly acclaimed programming and to make the museum even more visitor-friendly than before.
The MCA will be redefining and redesigning its facilities to further broaden its visitor base and make the space playful, welcoming, smart and open. This makeover will include a new restaurant, gallery and logo (pictured below).
The street level restaurant will be constructed on the north side of the building and is slated to open in May 2016. L.A.-based architectural firm Johnston Marklee is in charge of "re-imagining the museum," which includes overseeing the restaurant development. Dutch Design firm Mevis & van Deursen was tasked with creating the new logo and oversees the museum's graphic updates.
The new Doris Salcedo retrospective, which opens to the public tomorrow (Feb. 21, running through May 24, 2015), fully embodies the museum's commitment not only to supporting living artists, but to the engagement of visitors and forging a strong connection between artist and audience. This poignant exhibit is suffused with a meditative feeling, broadly analyzing human suffering and loss. It is a universally relatable exhibition, one that musn't be missed.
Salcedo's major bodies of work spanning her 30-year career are displayed, all elegantly positioned commonplace objects and materials that come to address and confront political violence. The U.S.-debut of Salcedo's Plegaria Muda (2008-10, below) is here, a veritable field of hand-crafted tables stacked on top of each other, with live grass growing from an earthen slab between. The imagery is haunting, a response to Salcedo's experience of mass graves in Colombia, which she visited with grieving mothers searching for their sons.
The installations Salcedo has created follow the artist's extensive research into the victims of war and other unjust circumstances, all of whom have suffered significant loss and trauma. Her Untitled Works (1989-2008, below), for example, represent her largest body of work to date, comprising domestic furniture filled with concrete and sometimes clothing. These pieces come to transform the experiences of victims into sculptures, conveying a sense of how their lives were permanently disrupted.
The most moving and visually spectacular of the exhibition may be A Flor de Piel (2014, below), a "shroud" of thousands of rose petals surgically stitched together, chemically suspended between life and death. It's a feat to behold, and a respectful testament to a Colombian nurse who overcame great obstacles in life, before being kidnapped and tortured to death.
The MCA has plenty of exciting developments in the works, in addition to the phenomenal Doris Salcedo exhibition. The museum has only further solidified its standing as one of Chicago's best cultural institutions, and is a must-see experience for anyone in Chicago.
Photos: MCA exterior and logo courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
Doris Salcedo, Plegaria Muda, 2008-10. Installation view, CAM-Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, 2011. Inhotim Collection, Brazil. Photo: Patrizia Tocci. Reproduced courtesy of the artist; Alexander and Bonin, New York; and White Cube.
Doris Salcedo, Untitled, 1989. Collection of Barbara F. Lee, Cambridge, MA. Photo: Jason Mandella. Reproduced courtesy of the artist; Alexander and Bonin, New York; and White Cube.
Doris Salcedo, A Flor de Piel (detail), 2011-12. Rose petals and thread. Installation view, White Cube, London, 2012. Photo: Ben Westoby.