(Admission is $5 & $2.50 at Ontario street)
(Admission at the new museum: $6.50 general; $4 for seniors and students)

June - October:

Negotiating Rapture
Josef Paul Kleihues: Projecting the MCA
Jennifer Pastor

June - May 1997:
Shadow of Storms: Art of the Postwar Era from the MCA Collection

November - January 1997:
Meret Oppenheim: Beyond the Teacup

November - March 1997:
Art in Chicago: 1945 - 1995

Made in Chicago: Independent Films

January - April:
Jorge Pardo
Inigo Manglano-Ovalle: Balsero

March - July:
In Focus: Lorna Simpson

April - June:
Richard Misrach: Crimes and Splendors: Desert Cantos
My Little Pretty: Images of Girls by Contemporary Women Artists

Tony Oursler

April - February 1998:
Uta Barth: Wall Project
Performance Anxiety

June - August:
Alix Pearlstein

June - December:
Tatsuya McCoy: Wall Project

June - April 1998:
Envisioning the Contemporary: Selections from the Permanent Collection

July - September:
Mona Hatoum
Mary Brogger
New Acquisitions: Work on Paper

July - October:
Fake Ecstasy With Me

July - May 1998:
Carla Preiss

August - September:
Harry Callahan

August - November:

Miroslaw Rogala's Divided We Speak

September - May:
Louise Bourgeois Sculpture Garden Installation

October - January 1998:
Hall of Mirrors: Art and Film Since 1945
Toshio Shibata

November - February 1998:
Derek Jarman: Blue
Jasper Johns: In Memory of My Feelings-Frank O'Hara
Video and Film Program

January - March:
Joe Scanlan: Pay for Your Pleasure (reprise)

January - May:
Robert Irwin: California Scheming

January - September:
Jacob Hashimoto: An Infinite Expanse of Sky (10,000 Kites)

Sir Stanley Spencer. scheduled to open in February 1998.
Cancelled. Replaced by enlarged Cindy Sherman traveling retrospective

February - May:

Cindy Sherman: Retrospective
Andy Goldsworthy: Sculpture Garden Project
California Scheming
Peter Land: Step Ladder Blues

February - July:
Adam Brooks: Denaturalized

February - October:
Roger Brown Tribute

February - September:
Byron Kim: Wall Project

April - February 1999:
Envisioning the Contemporary: Selections from the Permanent Collection

April - July:
Abigail Lane
Jacob Hashimot

April - August:
Alfredo Jaar: Geography=War

April - July 1998:
Abigail Lane: Whether the roast burns the train leaves or the heavens fall

May - August:
In Focus: Pipilotti Rist
Video Selections from the MCA Collection

June – September:
Chuck Close

July - September:
Jackie Ferrara: Permanent Collection Focus

July - October:
Hirsch Farm Project Now: Speculative Environment, Theme Song, and Wisconsin Open House

August - October:
Dara Friedman Total
One-Way Street: Urban Spaces on Video

August - January 1999:
Henry Darger: Peering into the Realms

September - October:
NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt

September - November:
Recent Acquisitions

September - November 1999:
Dan Peterman: Accessories to an Event (plaza)

(Admission is now $7 and $4.50 for seniors & students)

January - March:
Theatre of Drawing: Early Artworks of Robert Wilson
Perspectives on Terrain

January- April:
Unfinished History
Jim Hodges: Every Way

February - October:
Decades in Dialogue: Perspectives on the MCA Collection

March - August:
Apposite Opposites: Photos from the MCA
Sol LeWitt: Bands of Color

March - May:
Jim Nutt: Portraits

March - July:
MEDI(T)Ations: Adrian Piper's Videos, etc.

May - July:
Charles Ray Examining Pictures: Exhibiting Paintings

April - August:
Sarah Sze

May - July:
Charles Ray

June - August:
Identity Crisis

July - September:
Examining Pictures: Exhibiting Paintings

July - October:
Licthtenstein Interiors

August - November:
Eija-Liisa Ahtila
Malick Sidibe
Laylah Ali: Small Agressions

October - November:
Robert Heinecken: Photographist – A Thirty-Five Year Retrospective
Bruce Nauman and Kcho : Encounter

October - March 2000:
Beat Streuli

November - March 2000:
Art at the End of the Century: 100 Years of Architecture
Material Evidence: Chicago Architecture at 2000

December - December 2000:

Lucky DeBellevue: The Underneath

March - June:
Pierre Huyghe
Yoshitomo Nara : Walk On
Drawing on the Figure: Recent Works on Paper of the 1990s from the Manilow Collection
In Focus: Alexander Calder from the Leonard and Ruth Horwich Family Loan

March - November:
Age of Influence: Reflections in the Mirror of American Culture

July - September:
Tobias Rehberger

July - October:
Tom Friedman
Anne Wilson
Sol Lewit: A Retrospective

October - November:
Glenn Ligon: Runaways and Narratives
Selected Works from the MCA Collection

October - January 2001:
Isaac Julien

November - February 2001:
Ed Ruscha
Catherine Opie

December - January 2001:
Infinite Loop: Selected Light Works from the MCA Collection

December - August 2001:
Alexander Calder in Focus

December - January 2001:

Infinite Loop: Selected Light Works from the MCA Collection


(Admission is now a suggested price of $10 and $6 for students and seniors)

January - February:
Pawel Althamer

January - April:

AA Bronson: Negative Thoughts

February - May:

Gilbert & George: Nineteen Ninety Nine

February - April:
The Journey: The Next Hundred Years

March - May:
Sharon Lockhart
Katharina Fritsch
Tony Fitzpatrick: Max and Gaby's Alphabet

March - August:

Original Language: Highlights from the MCA Collection

May - March:
Carla Atocha: Hide

May - August:
No Harm in Looking
Christian Marclay

June - August:

Wang Du: Defile

June - September:
H.C. Westermann

September - December:
The Short Century: Independence and Liberation movements in Aftrica 1945-1994

October - January 2002:
William Kentridge

12x12: New Artists/New Work
Laura Mosquera
Oli Watt
Melissa Oresky


October – January:
William Kentridge
Lovesexy: Identity and Desire in the MCA Collection

January – April:
The Body Present: Effigies, Decoys, and Other Equivalents

January – October:

People See Paintings: photography andPainging from the MCA Collection

February – May:
Gary Simmons
Mies in America

April – July:
Gregg Bordowitz: Drive

April – April 2003:
D’nell Larson: Cafe Project

May – September:
Liz Larner: Untitled
Donald Moffett: What Barbara Jordan Wore

June - August:
Out of Place: Contemporary Art and the Architectual Uncanny

June - September:
Andreas Gursky

July - June 2003:

July - October:
Matta in America

July - January 2003:
Alexander Calder: In Focus

September - January 2003:
Giuseppe Gabellone
Wanderings of the Mind’s Eye: Photographs by Illinois Artists from the MCA Collection

October - January 2004:

Franz Ackermann: The Waterfall (lobby wall project)

October - January 2003:
Gillian Wearing: Mass Observation

November - April:
Life, Death, Love, Hate, Pleasure, Pain
Maurizio Catalan: Felix

12x12: New Artists/New Work
Rashid Johnson
Pate Conaway
Nicholas Brown
John White Cerasulo
Paul Dickinson
Danielle Gustafson-Sundell
Georgina Valverde
Adam Scott
Cindy Loehr
Clare Rojas
Kerry Skarbakka

January - May:
Categorically Speaking
War (What is it Good For?)

January - July:
Alfredo Jaar: Geography=War

February - June:
Julian Opie: We swam amongst the fishes (Café Project)
Hiroshi Sugimoto: Architecture

May - August:
John Currin
Paul Pfeiffer
Site Specific

May - September:
Basic Instinct
Picturing the Artist

May - October:
Between the Museum and the City: The Working Process of Garafalo Architects

June - September:
Thomas Struth

July 5 - 27:
STAMP! Artists’ Postage Stamps and Books from the Collection of MCA & Bad Press Books

July - January 2005:
Alexander Calder in Focus: Works from the Leonard and Ruth Horwich Family Loan

August - November:
Enough! Indira Freitas Johnson

September - July 2004:
Strange Days

October - January 2004:
Kerry James Marshall: One True Thing, Meditations on Black Aesthetics

12x12: New Artists/New Work
Juan Angel Chavez
Ben Gest
Scott Anderson
Valerie Hegarty
Andreas Fischer
Rena Leinberger
Jeff Zimmerman
12x12: Academy Records
Diana Guerrero-Macia
Siebren Versteeg
John Parot

January - February:
Uncovered: Recent Acquisitions from the Artists’ Books Collection

January - January 2005:
Jose Damasceno: Observation Plan Atmosphere

February - May:
Lee Bontecou: A Retrospective

May - September:
The Center is Anywhere: Chicago-Based Artists from the MCA Collection
Collectors Forum Acquisitions 2003-04

June - September:

Dan Peterman: Plastic Economies
Skin Tight: The Sensibility of the Flesh

July - August:
S.M.S. The Letter Edged in Black Press

July - January 2005:
Soft Edge

September - January 2005:
Kai Althoff: Kai Kein Respekt (Kai No Respect)

October - January 2005:
Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China
Fiona Tan: Correction

12x12: New Artists/New Work
Anna Joelsdottir
Saya Woolfalk
Sam Salisbury
Huong Ngo
Ken Fandell

Deva Maitland
Anna Shteynshleyger
Sumakshi Singh
New Catalogue

February - June:
Universal Experience: Art. Life, and the Tourist’s Eye

June - September:
Aemout Mik: Refraction

July - October:
Circle of Influence: Letter by Dan Flavin and Artists’ Books by His Peers
Dan Flavin: A Retrospective

October - January 2006:
Tropicalia: A Revolution in Brazilian Culture

November - June:
Alexander Calder in Focus: Works from the Leonard and Ruth Horwich Family Loan

November - March:
The Fluidity of Time: Selections from the MCA Collection

12x12: New Artists/New Work
Olivia Block
Angelina Gualdoni
Brian Ulrich
Susan Giles
William Staples
Nathaniel Robinson (June)
Scott Wolniak
Deb Sokolow
Chris Uphues
William J. O’Brien
Mequitta Ahuja
Stan Shellabarger

January – April:
Not I: A Samuel Beckett Centenary Celebration

February – April:
Figures in the Field: Figurative Sculpture and Abstract Painting from Chicago Collections
Maurizio Catalan: HIM

February – September:
Jim Iserman

March – June: 

May – August:
Chris Ware

May – October:
Catherine Opie: Chicago (American Cities)

May – August:
Patty Chang: Shangri-La
Wolfgang Tillmans

June – August:
Robert Heinecken: In Memorian

July - October:
Drawn into the World: Drawings from the MCA Collection

July - January 2007:
Alfredo Jaar: Geography=War

September - December:
Massive Change: The Future of Global Design

September - January 2007:
Sustainable Architecture in Chicago: Works in Progress

November - February 2007:
The Art of Richard Tuttle

12x12: New Artists/New Work
Lora Fosberg
Dianna Friday Scott Fortino
Jason Lazarus
Mike Andrews
D. Denenge Akpem
Julia Oldham
People Powered
Christine Tarkowski
Material Exchange
OODA Group

January - May:
Rudolf Stingel

February - May:
Lessons in Learning: Art and Education

February - July:
MCA EXPOSED: Defining Moments in Photography, 1967, 1967-2007

May - September:
Sol LeWitt in Memoriam
Upon an Ether Sea: Water and Ship Imagery from the MCA Collection

June - September:
Escultura Social: A New Generation of Art form Mexico City

July 3 - 29: Here / Not There

July - October:
Drawn into the World: Drawings from the MCA Collection

July - January 2008:
Alfredo Jaar

August - October:
Record Times: 40 Years From the MCA Archive

August - June:
Collection Hightlights

September - January 2008:
Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967

October 7 - December 30:
Tino Sehgal: Kiss

November - March 2008:
Mapping the Self

12x12: New Artists/New Work
Steven Husby
Terence Hannum
David Shutter
Amy Mayfield
Melanie Schiff
Noelle Allen
Greg Stimac
Nathan Butler
Philip von Zweck
Cody Hudson
Sara Schnadt

January - June:
Recent Acquisitions

January - April:
Part 1: Focus on Chicago

March - June:
Part 2

February - June:

Gordon Matta-Clark: You Are the Measure

February - June
Karen Kilimnik

May - June:
Art Shay: Chicago Accent

May - September:
Jeff Koons

July 4 - 27:
Utopian Station and Peace Salon

June - October:
Everything’s Here

October - February 2009:

November - February 2009:
Joseph Grigely St. Cecilia

November – May 2009:
USA Today

12x12: New Artists/New Work

Paula Henderson
Jeni Spota
Craig Doty
Irena Knezevic
Jan Tichy
Mark Booth
Howard Henry Chen
Von Kommanivanh
Industry of the Ordinary
Harold Mendez
Tan Wee Lit


January - February:
Theaster Gates: Temple Exercises

December - March:
Don Baum: In Memoriam

February - March:
Selections from the MCA Collection

April 3 - 24:
All-City Art Exhibition

May 10 - 13:
Artists in Depth: William Kentridge

March - July:
Buckminster Fuller: Starting with the Universe

July - October:
Constellations: Paintings from the MCA Collection

October - February 2010:
Daria Martin: Minotaur

October - November:
Jeremy Deller: It Is What It Is: Conversations About Iraq

October - January 2010:
Liam Gillick: Three perspectives and a short scenario

October - January 2010:
Artists in Depth: Liam Gillick, Jenny Holzer, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt

November - February 2010:
Italics: Italian Art between Tradition and Revolution, 1968-2008

November - January 2010:
The one hundred and sixty-third floor: Liam Gillick Curates the Collection

12x12: New Artists/New Work
Curtis Mann
Paul Preissner
Tiffany Holmes
Armita Raafat
Edra Soto
Jill Frank
Robert Davis / Michael Langlois
Maria Gaspar
Haptic and Lisa Slodki
Carrie Schneider


(Admission is now a suggested price of $12 and $7 for students and seniors)

January 9 - 31:
Selected Works from the MCA Collection: Focus on UBS 12x12

February - March:
Production Site: The Artist’s Studio Inside-Out
Hide and Seek

February - February 2011
Lost and Found

March - September:
Rewind: 1970s to 1990s Works from the MCA Collection

April - October:
Earthworks: Robert Smithson, Sam Durant, and Mary Brogger

May - October:
Works on Paper from the MCA Collection

June - October:
Alexander Calder and Contemporary Art: Form, Balance, Joy

November - Ma 2011y:
Without You I’m Nothing: Art and Its Audience

12x12: New Artists/New Work
Aspen Mays
White / Light
Daniel Everett
Steve Krakow
Caleb J. Lyons

January - May:
Interactions: A Four Month Series of Artist and Audience Activations

January 8 - 30:
New Chicago Comics

January - May:
Jim Nutt: Coming Into Character
Seeing is a Kind of Thinking: A Jim Nutt Companion

February - June:
MCA DNA: Thomas Ruff

February - June:
Susan Philipsz: We Shall Be All

March – April:
Project Cabrini Green

April - September:

Emerge Selections 2001

May - September:
Mark Bradford

June - October:
Pandora’s Box: Joseph Cornell Unlocks the MCA Collection

June - November:
Eiko & Koma: Time is Not Even, Space is Not Empty

July 5 – 31:
We Are Here: Art & Design Out of Context

July - October:
MCA Plaza Project: Mark Handforth

August 30 – September 12:

Vera Lutter: Studies for Ground Zero

October  - April 2012:
The Language of Less (Then and Now):

October - March 2012:

November - January 2012:
Chicago Works: Scott Reeder

November - January 2012:

Ron Terada: Being There
Iain Baxter&: Works 1958 – 2011

November - February 2012:
MCA DNA: Dieter Roth

November - April 2012:
MCA DNA: Gordon Matta-Clark
MCA Screen: David Hartt

December 6 – 31:

Andrew Bird and Ian Schneller’s Sonic Arboretum

12x12: New Artists/New Work
Melika Bass
Takeshi Moro
Alex Lehnerer
Matthew Metzger
John Henderson
Anne Elizabeth Moore
Dan Gunn
Ann Toebbe


January - December:
Martin Creed Plays Chicago

February - April:
BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works: Laura Letinsky

February - June:
This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s

March - April:

Emerge Selections 2012

April - August:
Rashid Johnson: Message to Our Folks

May - July:
BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works: Molly Zuckerman-Hartung

May - October:
Phantom Limb: Approaches to Painting Today

May - August:
First 50

May - September:
MCA Screen: Cauleen Smith: A Star Is a Seed

June - September:
MCA DNA: New York School
Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity

August - October:
BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works: Heidi Norton

August - November:
Jimmy Robert Vis-à-vis

September - March 2013:
MCA DNA: John Cage

September - May 2013:
MCA DNA: William Kentridge
MCA Screen: Akram Zaatari

August 2012 - June 2013:
MCA Chicago Plaza Project: Martin Creed

October - January 2013:
Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec: Bivouac

November -March 2013:

BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works: Paul Cowan

November - April 2013:
Color Blind: The MCA Collection in Black and White

December - April 2013:
Goshka Macuga: Exhibit, A


February - June 2:
Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, 1949 – 1962

March - June 18:
BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works: Jason Lazarus

April - May 12:
Emerge Selections 2013

April - August 11:
Amalia Pica

May - September:
MCA DNA: Chicago Conceptual Abstraction, 1986 – 1995
Gaylen Gerber

May - October:
Theaster Gates: 13th Ballad

May - November:
Think First, Shoot Later: Photography from the MCA Collection

June - October:
Modern Cartoonist: The Art of Daniel Clowes

July - December:
BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works: José Lerma
MCA Chicago Plaza Project: Amanda Ross-Ho

September - January 2014:
Paul Sietsema

September - June 2014:
MCA DNA: Warhol and Marisol

October - November:
Miller & Shellabarger

October - August 2014:

MCA DNA: Alexander Calder

November – March 2014:
The Way of the Shovel: Art as Archaeology

August 2013, Amanda Ross Ho's MCA Chicago Plaza Project, THE CHARACTER AND SHAPE OF ILLUMINATED THINGS, up from July through December 2013.

As the MCA landed in its quadruple-sized new space, the curator list expanded and titles became more explicit. And yet, for me, things became a little confusing. The roster and chronicle below was compiled from MCA annual reports, news items, individual histories and longtime curator Lynne Warren's records and memory.

James W. Alsdorf Chief Curators
1993 - 1997: Richard Francis,
1997 - 1999: Amanda Cruz, Acting Chief Curator
1999 - 2009: Elizabeth A.T. Smith
2009 - 2010: Dominic Molon, Acting Curatorial Head
2011 - present: Michael Darling

Manilow Senior Curators:
1995 - 1999: Amanda Cruz
1999 - 2008: Francesco Bonami, Manilow Senior Curator at Large
2011 - present: Dieter Roelstraete

Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator:
2011 - present: Naomi Beckwith

1981 - present: Lynne Warren
2009 - 2010: Dominic Molon
2000 - 2003: Staci Boris

Pamela Alper Associate Curators:
2005 - 2008: Dominic Molon
2009 - present: Julie Rodrigues Widholm

Associate Curator:
2009 - 2011: Tricia Van Eck

Curators of Collections:
1992 - 1998: Lucinda Barnes
1998 - 2001: Alison Pearlman

Curator of Exhibitions:
1992 - 1998: Amanda Cruz

Curatorial Assistants:
1994 - 1998: Dominic Molon
1994 - 1998: Staci Boris
1995 - 1998: Jessica Morgan
1998 - 2002: Michael Rooks
1999 - 2003: Sylvia Chivaratanond
2005 - 2009: Julie Rodrigues Widholm
2009 - 2011: Michael Green
2011 - present: Karsten Lund
2011 - present: Steven Bridges

Curatorial Coordinator and Curator of Books:

2007 - 2009: Tricia Van Eck

Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellows:
2000: Harriet Gordon
2001: Jennifer Zukerman
2002: Monika Gehlawat
2003: Zhiva Valiavicharscka
2004: Tabatha Tucker
2005:Heather Pesanti
2006: Miescha Harris
2007: Joe Madura
2008: Celine Kopp
2009: Diana Nawi
2010: Timothy Grundy
2011: Joanna Szupinska
2012: Kristin Korolowicz
2013: Abigail Winograd

The new Museum of Contemporary Art opened on June 21, 1996, with a 24-hour summer solstice celebration. See the MCA video, A Collective Vision, that shows the museum's progress from demolition of the armory, to the groundbreaking, to the opening of the museum, here.

Chicago Reader: July 25, 1996, Lewis Lazare:
Attendance at the new Museum of Contemporary Art has been unpredictable since its opening on July 2, with the number of daily visitors ranging between 800 and 3,000. But MCA spokeswoman Maureen King says, "These numbers are above what we had projected." The most encouraging news so far is the number of new MCA memberships. When the museum closed down operations on Ontario Street last February, it had 3,400 members. The tally now stands at 10,000, according to King. That puts the museum nearly a year ahead of its projections. Meanwhile, the MCA has launched First Fridays, its own monthly cocktail event for young adults based on the Art Institute's successful After Hours soirees. First Fridays debuted July 5, during a holiday weekend, and attracted more than 700 people, says King. An even larger turnout is expected August 2, when Brigid Murphy brings her Orchid Show persona, Milly May Smithy, to the next First Fridays offering.

Chicago Tribune: June 15, 1997, Alan Artner:

Did such offerings help attendance rise to nearly 350,000, more than two-thirds higher than in the old building? Probably. But no one can say whether the number reflects an attraction to bread (a chic new cafe) and circuses (monthly singles nights plus other events with a party atmosphere) or the irresistible pull of art, which is, of course, something different.

If the focus is on the MCA's artistic achievement, many visitors who became members -- the count is 16,500, more than four times that in the old building -- should be motivated to renew. Yet the first large brace of renewals won't come due until early July, so no one at the museum has results of that either.

The MCA has added 168 pieces in the last year, and curator Lucinda Barnes is especially proud of how the museum has used the collections to complement the temporary shows.

The exhibition schedule is complete through 1998. Only a retrospective for British painter Stanley Spencer -- a Francis project in cooperation with the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington -- has been canceled; an enlarged version of a Cindy Sherman photography exhibition, which was already on the books, and a show of California art from the permanent collections will replace it.

1996 exhibition curated by Lynne Warren

1998 exhibition co-organized by the MCA Los Angeles and the MCA Chicago.

August 22, 1999, Chicago Tribune:

Transmute is the first exhibition both at the Museum of Contemporary Art and on its Web site. Viewers are invited to submit pieces as well as re-invent a show of about 40 artworks.

1999 exhibition curated by Lynne Warren.

1999 exhibition curated by Lynne Warren

Chicago Tribune, November 14, 1999, Achy Obejas:
When the Museum of Contemporary Art opened its doors a few years back, the critical reaction to its architecture was that it was too cold, too clinical -- a space so vast it would always feel empty. The atrium, nestled between its two principal galleries, seemed more like a meaningless hallway, an airport terminal.

But the totemic "Archipielago en mi Pensamiento" ("Archipelago in my Thoughts") skewers all that. A towering installation of weather- beaten dinghies, dusty liquor bottles, wasted ropes, worn suitcases and leathery inner tubes, the piece not only defies the atrium space, it overwhelms it with its paradoxical precariousness and weight, earned wisdom and imperfect humanity.

1999 exhibition originating at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles

Chicago Tribune, February 25, 2000, Alan Artner:
This is the final weekend to see the complete version of At the End of the Century: One Hundred Years of Architecture, the extraordinary survey that since last fall has occupied the whole of the Museum of Contemporary Art. Portions will continue through March 12, but the scope and ambition of the show only comes clear when its 21 sections are viewed in their entirety, as a long unbroken sequence of episodes, movements and thematic developments. No other exhibition in the museum's history has been as vast and adventuresome.

Chicago Tribune, April 16, 2000, Alan Artner:

In a tacit agreement to mark the first year of the new century, many art museums are highlighting their permanent collections rather than sending masterpieces away on loan and hosting big traveling attractions. The Museum of Contemporary Art's contribution to this effort is "Age of Influence: Reflections in the Mirror of American Culture," an exhibition drawn primarily from recent additions to its holdings.

The show is notable for being the first in-house exhibition organized by both its chief and senior curators; the first vehicle for displaying the director's efficacy in purchasing works and prompting increased giving; the first selection from the collection to occupy all the museum's largest galleries; and the first exposure for about a dozen artists previously unknown in Chicago.

Chicago Tribune, February 25, 2001, Karla Loring:

Of course, the purveyors of those traditional images do not agree that they are out of touch with the viewing public. Nor do some leaders in the art world share the view that digital artists are fundamentally changing the way art is created, exhibited and perceived.

"Digital art is simply a new tool that will share space alongside all the other traditional arts," says Robert Fitzpatrick, director of Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art. He considers the technology of such art a potentially powerful, but still embryonic medium, likening it to the evolution of photography in the 19th Century. "Photography began by simply capturing a building or a person, and it took decades for artists to develop the medium as a brilliant, original art form," he says.

Though he believes that some digital art techniques, such as virtual reality, "have artistic potential, right now the technology is primarily being used for Sony PlayStations and things like that; artistically it has not reached a level of meaningful content yet."

For Fitzpatrick, "Looking at art on the Web is not a long- term satisfying experience. It exists for a moment and then is over. Its limited duration creates a very temporal experience, not anything like looking at an object." Despite the difficulties of working on-line, including the problems of perpetuity and how to sell an on-line work, Polli has no regrets about using the Web as an artistic medium. "Information, like the Internet, should be free. Hoarding or hiding your ideas because you think there is going to be this big payoff is really limiting. It is better to get the ideas out there."

Chicago Tribune, October 7, 2002, Alan Artner article revisiting a 1978 exhibition organized by MCA curator Judith Russi Kirshner; an exhibition that Arner vehemently panned 22 years earlier.


Rarely has a Chicago art museum played a significant role in building an international reputation for an artist overlooked in history, but the Museum of Contemporary Art once did with an exhibition for Mexican cult figure and painter Frida Kahlo.

"I'm not sure I understand it," Kirshner said. "The feminist approach, while necessary, was hardly sufficient to explain the art's power. It helped to have a seductive biography. But the impact [of the work also has to do with small] scale and intensity. I remember the painting as poignant and particular and passionate and revealing all at the same time that it has the concision of the Mexican votive form."
Because such concision was applied to the stuff of life -- Kahlo's art is pure autobiography -- there is a directness that went beyond her major followers in the 1980s, Latin Americans living in the United States. Anybody could understand the nature of Kahlo's paintings in a way they couldn't always do with the work of, say, Tamara de Lempicka, another flamboyant artist whose reputation was on the rise. Kahlo used the forms and colors of folk art; de Lempicka, the space of decorative Cubism. The one was a matter of feeling, the other style.

2003 exhibition curated by Staci Boris and Rochelle Steiner

2006 exhibition of Catherine Opies work that was commissioned by the MCA.

2007 exhibition curated by Julie Rodrigues Widholm

2007 exhibition curated by Dominic Molon.

Chicago Tribune, September 9, 2007, Alan Artner:
Rock music makes the middle-aged feel young. So the Museum of Contemporary Art, which officially enters middle age by reaching 40 next month, has done something uplifting. It has organized the largest exhibition to date on 40 years of relationships between visual art and rock music.

2009 exhibition curated by Dominic Molon

Chicago Tribune, May 10, 2009, Colleen Mastony:
Stepping into the Olafur Eliasson exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art feels a little like tumbling down the rabbit hole. Colors shift, perspectives change, the mind bends. Turn right into the first of a series of exhibit rooms, and you'll find yourself bathed in an eerie orange light.

Cross through another doorway, and you're confronted by a gigantic wall of Norwegian moss -- which is alive, by the way, and fills the gallery with the scent of damp earth. Around another corner, you're suddenly in a pitch-black room. A gentle mist falls from the ceiling and -- with a single light -- creates a shimmering, miragelike rainbow.

An hour spent wandering through "Take Your Time: Olafur Eliasson" -- which runs through Sept. 13 -- is at turns dizzying, disorienting and wondrous.

Chicago Tribune, June 12, 2011:
In order of popularity based on highest weekly attendance during their run, the MCA's top 10 hits fall mostly within the past decade

1. "Take your time: Olafur Eliasson" (2009)

2. "Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967" (2007)

3. "Jeff Koons" (2008)

4. "Alexander Calder: Form, Balance, Joy" (2010)

5. "Andy Warhol/Supernova: Stars, Deaths, and Disasters, 1962-1964" (2006)

6. "Chuck Close" (1998)

7. "At the End of the Century: 100 Years of Architecture" (1999)

8. "Buckminster Fuller: Starting with the Universe" (2009)

9. "Massive Change: The Future of Global Design" (2006)

10. "Lee Bontecou: A Retrospective" (2004)

Source: Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Chicago Tribune, October 28, 2011, Lauren Viera:

When news broke in June that the Museum of Contemporary Art would be discontinuing its "12x12: New Artists/New Work" series this month, ending its 10-year run, question marks loomed: Would a similar series be established to offer the same opportunities to local artists? And would the public know the difference?

Time will tell. "Chicago Works," the next iteration of the MCA's exhibition of local artists, launches Tuesday with a show by Scott Reeder, poised to join the museum's long list of local alumni.

2012 exhibition brochure for "First 50," organized by Joanna Szupinska, Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow. This exhibition presented the first fifty art works that entered the MCA's collection, changing the museum's original intention of being a Kunsthalle - an art center that only exhibits works.

The open page spread shows that the first thirteen objects were by Marisol, Jacques Chemay, Dartel, Hugo Demarco, Mimmo Rotella, Gianfranco Baruchello, Zoltan Kemeny, Francisco Sobrino, Don Eddy, Gorge Cohen, Paul Sarkisian, and John Van Saun.

2013 exhibition curated by Manilow Senior Curator Dieter Roelstraete.