June 30 – September 4, 2011
The human form has endured as a powerful subject throughout the history of art. This episodic exhibition illustrates pivotal moments in figurative art of the last sixty years through the work of nine exceptional artists: Nick Cave, Leon Golub, Yun-Fei Ji, Kerry James Marshall, Christina Ramberg, Martín Ramírez, Ravinder Reddy, Clare Rojas, and Sylvia Sleigh.
Despite their varied approaches to media and subject, these artists are bound by their sustained engagement with the human figure and by their use of pattern as a visual strategy to enhance, entice, or complicate our viewing experience. Go Figure brings together exemplary paintings, drawings, and sculpture from the Smart Museum and other collections throughout Chicago. Together, these works explore issues of identity, personal history, and social change and, in doing so, reveal the versatile capacity of art to capture the diversity and complexity of contemporary human experience.
The exhibition is accompanied by a series of video clips showcasing exhibiting artists Nick Cave, Leon Golub, Yun-Fei Ji, Kerry James Marshall, Ravinder Reddy, Clare Rojas, and Sylvia Sleigh. In the videos the artists discuss the human figure, artistic process, materials, and the role of art in our world.
Browse all the videos below. They'll also be available on iPads alongside the respective works in Go Figure.
Jessica Moss, Smart Museum Associate Curator of Contemporary Art.
This exhibition is supported by the Smart Family Foundation.
Presented in the Richard and Mary L. Gray Gallery for Special Exhibitions.