Free and open to the public

Closed for reinstallation

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Past Exhibitions : 2011

David Wojnarowicz: A Fire in My Belly

January 4 - February 6, 2011

A leading artist of the 1980s, David Wojnarowicz is known for the richly aesthetic and strongly activist works that he made in response to the AIDS crisis.

Anna Lea Merritt, Ophelia, 1880, Oil on canvas. Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, Bequest of Robert Coale, 2007.134.

The Tragic Muse: Art and Emotion, 1700–1900

February 10 – June 5, 2011

This exhibition examines two centuries of works intertwined with emotion—from the sacrifice of classical heroines to the grief of ordinary people, from martyred saints to actors in tragic roles—and explores how art’s cathartic power grows or fades for new generations of viewers.

Andy Warhol, Mrs. Yves (Debra) Arman, 1986, Polacolor ER. Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, Gift of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc, 2008.76.

Warhol at Work: Portrait Snapshots, 1973-1986

May 10 – August 21, 2011

Over the course of his career, Pop Art pioneer Andy Warhol took thousands of photographs that were never intended to be seen by the public.

Sylvia Sleigh, Nancy Spero, Leon Golub and Sons Stephen, Phillip and Paul, 1973, Oil on canvas. Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, Gift of Leon Golub and Nancy Spero, 1988.6. © Estate of Sylvia Sleigh Alloway.

Go Figure

June 30 – September 4, 2011

This 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. 

Gustav Klucis, Long Live Red Army of Workers and Peasants – Faithful Guard of Soviet Borders!, 1935. Poster. Ne boltai! Collection. © 2011 Estate of Gustav Klutsis / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Process and Artistry in the Soviet Vanguard

August 30, 2011 – January 22, 2012

This intimate exhibition offers a rare glimpse at the experimental creative processes that generated iconic Soviet propaganda in the 1920s and 1930s.

Matthew Metzger, Ghost, 2011, Latex on canvas with clear coat protectant. Courtesy of the artist.

Matthew Metzger: Ghost

September 22, 2011 - October 7, 2012

A site-specific painting by Matthew Metzger (University of Chicago MFA 2009).

Viktor Koretsky, Africa Fights, Africa Will Win!, 1971, Poster on paper. Ne boltai! Collection.

Vision and Communism

September 29, 2011 – January 22, 2012

The Soviet artist and designer Viktor Koretsky (1909–1998) created aggressive, emotionally charged images that articulated a Communist vision of the world utterly unlike that of conventional propaganda.