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The Renaissance Society presents contemporary art exhibitions, events, and publishing on the campus of the University of Chicago. We are free and open to the public.
The Renaissance Society is an independent non-collecting museum of contemporary art located on the campus of the University of Chicago.
The Renaissance Society's cover photo
We are thrilled to have Camille Norment in the gallery this week as part of our Intermissions series! Join us today for gallery hours from 2 - 5pm, or for a talk and reception at 6pm. Learn more at www.renaissancesociety.org.
Congratulations are in order—the Astrup Fearnley Museet in Oslo, Norway has hired Solveig Øvstebø as their next Executive Director to begin in spring, 2020, and we all wish her the best! 🎉 Read more at the link... ↘️
The Renaissance Society is a contemporary art museum free and open to the public.
What does artist support look like? At the Ren, we are committed to supporting artists in uncompromising ways. On this #GivingTuesday we hope you will consider joining us by becoming a member or making a gift of any amount. Your contributions are vital to sustaining our program of exhibitions, events, and publications and ensure that we remain free and open to the public. https://renaissancesociety.org/support/
Pictured: Eglė Budvytytė in Medusa: A Tender Version, part of our Intermissions series in April 2019.
Our gallery and offices will be closed on Thursday, November 28 and Friday, November 29 in observation of the Thanksgiving holiday. We reopen to the public on Saturday for the final two days of LaToya Ruby Frazier's exhibition, The Last Cruze. See it while you can!
Join us for 10% off your favorite Ren titles. We are at the Chicago Art Book Fair from noon until 6 today!
The Renaissance Society's cover photo
Seven years, and an important chapter in #RenaissanceSociety history. As we share this news, we are so grateful to our colleague Solveig Øvstebø for her vision and leadership. Our work together continues for the next six months!
After seven years at the helm of the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, Solveig Øvstebø has announced that she will step down in February 2020 and return with her family to Norway. “The Renaissance Society’s ethos has always been to work closely with artists to help them create ...
Along with every exhibition, David Maljković translates his work into the form of a book, which becomes another lively medium for the artist. Now available, the publication for his 2019 exhibition “Also on View” is a collaboration with designer Toni Uroda. In it, he channels the queries of his solo exhibition at the Ren with a dynamic array of images and a rendition of the artist talk he delivered on opening night. #therenaissancesociety #davidmaljkovic #artistsbooks
The Ren’s cathedral-like space sounds like no other. This winter, from December 10-15, Camille Norment will bring it to life during a weeklong site-responsive sound project and a live performance as part of our Intermissions series. During her visit last week, the Oslo-based artist spent time exploring the room’s complex acoustics and how feedback loops can be much more than just noise. Thrilled to be developing this project in partnership with @logancenterexhibitions who will have a concurrent exhibition with Camille. More info at: https://renaissancesociety.org/events/1249/intermissions-camille-norment/
⛱ Summer reading rec ⛱ Eli Winter, our summer intern, loves “Tenderheaded,” published on the occasion of Jennifer Packer’s 2017 exhibition. For Eli, “what stands out are the reproductions of Packer’s paintings. It’s easy for you to look closely, and I think because of this you can notice the details more readily on the page; the paintings radiate warmth and tenderness as much as when they were on view.” #renaissancesociety #summerreading #jenniferpacker
From left, works by Rob Congor and Van McElwee in this installation view of “A Perfect Union...more or less.” View more about this 2004 exhibition—including an essay by Hamza Walker—at https://renaissancesociety.org/exhibitions/442/a-perfect-unionmore-or-less/ #tbt #deepcut #therenaissancesociety #uchicagoarts
We will be closed on Saturday, June 15 due to convocation activities at the University of Chicago. Additional street closures and parking restrictions may also affect travel here today. We will reopen to the public on Sunday, June 16 for our final week of Liz Magor: BLOWOUT.
Graduate Students United at the University of Chicago has voted to take industrial action through Wednesday, June 5; this includes picket lines around Cobb Hall, where we are located.
The Ren will be closed to the public on Tuesday, June 4 and Wednesday, June 5.
#tbt For his spring 1996 exhibition, Austrian artist Heimo Zobernig painted the corridor outside our gallery the shade of blue used in film and television production for compositing background footage into a shot. Here, you see the artist being filmed in the space ahead of the show. The finished video work—presented on a monitor just inside the gallery—featured him moving naked across various street scenes from around Chicago.
#tbt Thanks to artist Cindy Bernard for sharing this slide documenting our 1987 exhibition “CalArts: Skeptical Belief(s).” The presentation featured work by 54 graduates of the California Institute of the Arts, including Barbara Bloom, Jack Goldstein (whose work is shown here alongside Bernard’s), Lari Pittman, and Christopher Williams.
Our colleagues at ICA Philadelphia recently launched “I is for Institute,” a new set of critical conversations around what contemporary arts institutions are and can be.
As part of the website’s robust series of interviews with a range of directors and curators, our Executive Director and Chief Curator, Solveig Øvstebø, spoke with the ICA’s Alex Klein and Tausif Noor about the Ren’s unique position in the field and her experience coming to Chicago from Norway: “I see the institution as a muscle that gets its strength from the fantastic people working here… at the end of the day, that’s what constitutes a good institutional platform.”
Read the rest of their conversation and many others at iisforinstitute.icaphila.org
Conversation with Solveig Øvstebø, The Renaissance Society 08.08.18 With Alex Klein and Tausif Noor Solveig Øvstebø is the Director of The Renaissance Society, a contemporary art museum in Chicago. Download PDF Copy Link Tausif Noor What are the origins of the Renaissance Society, and why is it ...
#tbt “I think about desire drives. Drives of hunger. Drives of appetite. Drives of wanting. Drives that make you greedy. And then I think about how those drives are ruthless in the sense that they are without love. So, desire and love are separate things. I’m interfacing with objects that have been the victims of desire but they’ve received no love, and I’m actually trying to restore the love that they were missing in their journey through from retail to your house.”
Video of Liz Magor’s artist talk with BLOWOUT co-curators Solveig Øvstebø and Dan Byers from the opening reception on April 27, 2019
This fall, we will launch a revamped Renaissance Society editions program — stay tuned for details!
To make room for the new arrivals, we are offering a 20% discount on some of the great works we currently have available to purchase, including those by Mathias Poledna, Raymond Pettibon, Nancy Dwyer, and Rodney Graham.
The sale runs on our online store and here in the gallery through June 9. All proceeds support our program of exhibitions, events, and publications.
Coming up on Sunday, May 19: join members of the Ren's team for an informal workshop/group discussion based on Liz Magor's exhibition, BLOWOUT. Register via Eventbrite and we'll send you more information.
A chance to think about Liz Magor's solo exhibition, BLOWOUT, with a small group, this workshop centers on discussion and a free-form writing exercise as a way to draw out different insights. Social, material, and aesthetic dimensions begin to merge in Liz Magor’s evocative sculptures, while leavi...
Liz Magor: BLOWOUT
#tbt Catherine Sullivan‘s “Five Economies (big hunt/little hunt)“ opened on May 5, 2002 and featured a five-channel video projection, pictured here.
This new work drew on scenes and acting styles taken from films “The Miracle Worker,“ “Marat/Sade,“ “Persona,“ “Tim,“ and “Whatever Happened To Baby Jane,“ as well as imagined episodes from the true story of Birdie Jo Hoaks, a 25-year-old woman who tried to cheat the welfare system by passing as an orphaned teenage boy.
At the time of her exhibition, Sullivan was based in Los Angeles, but since 2006 she has been an associate professor of visual art in Department of Visual Arts at The University of Chicago.
Yesterday's The New York Times Magazine featured on its cover a stunning photo essay by LaToya Ruby Frazier, centered on the workers at the General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio.
We are thrilled to be working with Frazier on an exhibition of this new body of work, ”The Last Cruze,” which will open here on September 14. (Visit our website for more info -- link in comments below.)
For more than 50 years, life in Lordstown, Ohio, revolved around the G.M. plant at the edge of town. In March, the plant ceased production. This is what their crisis looks like.
#tbt Robert Gober‘s “The Silly Sink,” “The Ascending Sink,” and ”Untitled Pair of Sinks” from our 1986 exhibition “New Sculpture.” This three-person show also featured work by Jeff Koons and Haim Steinbach and was curated by Gary Garrels.
The Renaissance Society's cover photo
Now open! Liz Magor: BLOWOUT
Here are the artist and co-curator Solveig Øvstebø installing a few days ago. They’ll be joined this evening by co-curator Dan Byers for a public talk at 6pm, part of the opening reception 5-8pm. Worth braving the snow for!
#tbt Earlier this month we presented the fifth iteration of our Intermissions performance series, which takes place biannually in the empty gallery. Over the weekend of April 13 and 14, artist Ėgle Budvytytė presented her 2018 work “Incantation Karaoke” and the new performance “Medusa: A Tender Version,” which she developed in collaboration with Tomislav Feller.
You are the Renaissance Society. ✨ The Ren was founded in 1915 by a group of people who believed in art as an essential form of inquiry into the world around us. Since then, the Ren has stayed resolutely independent and driven by artists and their ideas, and our community makes this possible.
Join us as a member from just $5/month and your contribution will:
⭐️ help secure our free program of exhibitions and events
⭐️ sponsor the creation of new art and scholarship
⭐️ foster opportunities for learning and discussion
#tbt Paul Chan’s 2009 exhibition “My Laws Are My Whores” used the writer and philosopher Marquis De Sade (1740-1814) as a point of departure to create a new body of work that evoked what the Sadean legacy might look like today and how his obsessions with forms of sex, violence, freedom, and reason echo in the 21st century. The presentation included a series of nine ink “font drawings” (some of which are pictured here) and a set of 18 computer fonts that were freely available to download from our website, along with other moving image works, sculpture, and drawing.
#tbt For her 2013 exhibition, “Passing Through the Opposite of What It Approaches, Chapter 25,” R.H. Quaytman drew on the history of the institution from the 1970s and 80s, and particularly the friendship between then-director Susanne Ghez and art historian Anne Rorimer. During this period they presented exhibitions by Conceptual artists who would go on to influence Quaytman's approach to painting—Daniel Buren, Michael Asher, and James Coleman, to name a few.⠀
Image: R.H. Quaytman, “Passing Through the Opposite of What It Approaches, Chapter 25 (Everybody Needs at Least One Window),” 2012
If you missed this weekend's concert, here's a little taste of the incredible performance of Sarah Hennies's new composition by Two-Way Street ...
#tbt In December 1984 and January 1985, Nancy Spero presented 25 of her Black Paintings here at the Ren. At the time, this was the largest exhibition the artist had made of these works, which she created between 1961 and 1965 while living in Paris. Prior to moving abroad, Spero and her husband, Leon Golub, lived in Chicago and were active members of the Renaissance Society: she contributed work to our 1952 and 1953 Artist Members Exhibitions, and later also to our 1989 show of On Kawara‘s “Date Paintings.” A major retrospective of Spero‘s work, “Paper Mirror,” is currently on view at MoMA PS1 through June 23.⠀
First image: Nancy Spero, “Lovers I,” 1965.⠀
Second image: Nancy Spero with Ren Board President Wallace Moore Jr. at the opening reception in December 1984⠀
#nancyspero @nancyspero #1984 #1985 #renaissancesociety @momaps1 @ Renaissance Society
Don't miss David Maljković's solo presentation, ”Also on View”—just a few days remain to visit before it closes on Sunday, April 7.
February 9–April 7, 2019
#tbt As part of New Music America in summer 1982, we presented this sound sculpture by Douglas Hollis at nearby Promontory Point. The artist wrote at the time: “‘Sound Shade in C Major’ uses a series of aeolian organ pipes which function as both a compositional and structural framework within which other strung structures can be pitched, like sonic tents. These ‘tent skins’ are made of an industrial strapping material which has the wonderful quality of making the wind’s passage both audible and visible. Low floating platforms are incorporated beneath the shades, which people can sit on, becoming in a sense ‘airborne,’ celebrating the windscape.”⠀
#douglashollis #1982 #promontorypoint #renaissancesociety #soundsculpture
South Side Weekly
Do you ever wonder about the little things that inspire an artist to create a body of work? Everyone has a process. David Maljković’s exhibit “Also on View” at The Renaissance Society offers viewers a chance to explore that process.
#tbt 2002’s group exhibition “watery, domestic” took its name from Pavement’s 1992 EP of the same name and considered the place of irony and hope in the early 21st century. Curator Hamza Walker writes in the accompanying essay, “Not bound by mastery, suspect of master narratives, and more than willing to blur the distinction between fine art and popular culture, the seventeen artists in watery, domestic have settled into a downer’s groove whose wake harbors laugh tracks and landfills, reruns and ready-mades, impeachments and implants. Lacking the self-consciousness associated with irony, much of the work is vulnerable rather than cynical.”⠀
The presentation featured Brian Jungen’s 2002 work “Void” (pictured here), as well as contributions from Michael Ashkin, Conrad Bakker, Joseph del Pesco, Andrew Ehrenworth, Jay Heikes, Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, Harvey Opgenorth, David Patton, Richard Prince, Dario Robleto, Mindy Schwartz, Christine Tarkowski, Siebren Versteeg, Mary C. Wilson, and Paul Winstanley.⠀
If you're in the Boston area, don't miss BLOWOUT at CCVA through the 24th. If you're in the Chicago area, this exhibition of new work by Liz Magor opens here on April 27!
This is the last week to see our show Liz Magor: BLOWOUT. On view ‘til March 24th. The show will then travel to The Renaissance Society in Chicago. We’re open Tuesday - Sunday 12-5PM, be sure to stop by! Pictured here are Toolshed (Wood Stain), 2017 & Toolshed (Marine Paint), 2017. #ccvaharvard #lizmagor
#tbt In 1958, Marc Chagall paid us a visit during an exhibition of his paintings and graphic works. This photo was taken during an artist talk he gave at International House at the University of Chicago.
Our newest publication—the catalogue for Alejandro Cesarco's 2017 exhibition, Song—features new texts from Julie Ault, Lynne Tillman, and Wayne Koestenbaum, along with a generous selection of installation images. Now available to purchase on our website!
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