Free and open to the public

Closed for reinstallation

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Student Symposium: Monochrome Multitudes

People talking and laughing in a museum gallery

This student-organized symposium responds to Monochrome Multitudes. University of Chicago students from a broad array of academic disciplines will present papers that demonstrate the many registers by which “the monochrome” is studied and interpreted.

Organized by the Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry at the Smart Museum of Art, the symposium draws upon the expanding narratives within the exhibition and consider the following questions:

  • How does monochromy as an artistic practice relate to race, politics, culture, gender, sexuality, and a host of other social, historical, political, and cultural issues? 
  • How does a global frame complicate the traditional monochrome practices in North American art history?
  • How might we further imagine the possibilities of varying media and materiality in monochrome art?

It features papers and creative projects from UChicago undergraduate and graduate students across multiple fields of study: Haochen Martin Bai, Lauren Rooney, Claire Rich, Seth Nguyen, Avery Fischer, Sophia Ware, and Xavior Lewis.

FREE, open to the public. Please RSVP to attend the symposium in person or register for the Zoom link


Location update: all presentations will now take place at the University of Chicago’s Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th Street, Terrace Seminar (Room 801)

5 pm

Opening remarks by Aneesah Ettress, Academic Engagement Coordinator, Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry, and the Monochrome Multitudes symposium jury 

Session 1
5:20–6:20 pm
Seth Nguyen, AB '22
Mourning in Monochrome

Xavior Lewis,  AB ‘23 
Monoliths and Multitudes: The Call, E.W., and New Negro

Avery Fischer, AB '24
Before the Blackout

Sophia Ware, MAPH ’23 
Black: The Color of Identity in Contemporary Fashion 

6:20–6:30 pm

Session 2
6:30–7:30 pm
Lauren Rooney, AB '24
Satirical Monochromes and Self-Conscious Modernism: A Serious Talk about Joke Paintings

Haochen(Martin) Bai, MAPH '23
Imperatives under colors: revisiting “Les Magiciens de la Terre”

Claire Rich, MAPH '23 
"Going on and on": The "Loop" in Jaime Davidovich's Blue, Red, Yellow (1974)

Closing Remarks
7:30 pm

Monochrome Multitudes symposium jury

Closing performance

Monotone Silence Symphony

Thursday, January 5, 7:45 pm
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th Street, Performance Hall

As the culminating event for the Smart Museum of Art’s exhibition Monochrome Multitudes, a UChicago student-organized orchestra and choir will perform French artist Yves Klein’s Monotone Silence Symphony. Known mostly for his paintings in a blue hue called International Klein Blue, the Monotone Silence Symphony transforms Klein’s monochromatic paintings and sculpture into a monotone auditory experience.

FREE and open to the public. Advanced registration encouraged.

This performance is sponsored by the Logan Center for the Arts and the Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry at the Smart Museum of Art.