The Renaissance Society

The Renaissance Society 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.
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The Renaissance Society is an independent non-collecting museum of contemporary art located on the campus of the University of Chicago.

Operating as usual

We stand in solidarity with protestors across the country calling for justice for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna T...
06/02/2020

We stand in solidarity with protestors across the country calling for justice for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and countless others, and demanding an end to police violence and white supremacy. We support and honor those taking action in Chicago and around the world to dismantle the racist systems endangering Black lives.

As a cultural institution, we recognize our own responsibility to take a stand against these oppressive structures. As part of this, we commit to reflecting on our own entanglements with systems rooted in racism, and to working actively for change, both within the Ren and beyond. We must hold ourselves accountable and use our platform to lift up those fighting for a better world.

Right now, there are many organizations responding directly to these crises as they continue to unfold. Our staff has compiled a list of some groups doing important work in this moment, and we ask that you join us in supporting them.

BlackLivesMatter #BlackoutTuesday

Now for online viewing, a selection of works by Miho Dohi, co-organized by the Renaissance Society and the Carpenter Cen...
04/18/2020

Now for online viewing, a selection of works by Miho Dohi, co-organized by the Renaissance Society and the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University.

Pictured: Miho Dohi, Buttai 23, 2013.

View images and learn about upcoming programs at https://renaissancesociety.org/exhibitions/538/miho-dohi/

Bouquets are beautiful, but books last forever! To take advantage of our Valentine’s Day Sale, use promo code #thinkingo...
02/06/2020

Bouquets are beautiful, but books last forever! To take advantage of our Valentine’s Day Sale, use promo code #thinkingofyou in our online store for 20% off books and editions ---> https://store.renaissancesociety.org/

The new year is off to a great start with our current exhibition of new work by Silke Otto-Knappe. Did you know we--alon...
01/16/2020

The new year is off to a great start with our current exhibition of new work by Silke Otto-Knappe. Did you know we--along with many other UChicago spaces--are open until 8pm on Thursdays? Make it a date!

Silke Otto-Knapp, In the waiting room, installation view, 2020. Photo: Useful Art Services.

Silke Otto-Knapp, In the waiting room, installation view, 2020. Photo: Useful Art Services.
01/16/2020

Silke Otto-Knapp, In the waiting room, installation view, 2020. Photo: Useful Art Services.

The Renaissance Society's cover photo
01/02/2020

The Renaissance Society's cover photo

The Renaissance Society's cover photo
12/10/2019

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 ...
12/10/2019

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.

What does artist support look like? At the Ren, we are committed to supporting artists in uncompromising ways. On this #...
12/03/2019

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.

11/27/2019

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!
11/17/2019

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
09/24/2019

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 c...
08/28/2019
Solveig Øvstebø, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Renaissance Society, to Depart in February

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 m...
08/15/2019
Also On View | The Renaissance Society

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 ...
08/06/2019

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...
07/16/2019

⛱ 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

06/14/2019

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.

06/04/2019

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 o...
05/30/2019

#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)...
05/23/2019

#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 wh...
05/17/2019
I is for Institute — ICA Philadelphia | Conversation with Solveig Øvstebø, The Renaissance Society

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 ...

05/16/2019
Artist Talk: Liz Magor

#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 ...
05/14/2019
Museum Store | The Renaissance Society

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...
05/13/2019
Workshop: BLOWOUT

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
05/10/2019

Liz Magor: BLOWOUT

#tbt Catherine Sullivan‘s “Five Economies (big hunt/little hunt)“ opened on May 5, 2002 and featured a five-channel vide...
05/09/2019

#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...
05/06/2019
What Happens to a Factory Town When the Factory Shuts Down?

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 S...
05/02/2019

#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
04/27/2019

The Renaissance Society's cover photo

Now open! Liz Magor: BLOWOUTHere are the artist and co-curator Solveig Øvstebø installing a few days ago. They’ll be joi...
04/27/2019

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!

Address

5811 S Ellis Ave, 4th Floor
Chicago, IL
60637

From Downtown Chicago: Subway - Green Line - Direction: Ashland / 63 Arrive Garfield-Green Bus - 55 - Garfield - Direction: Museum of Science & Industry Arrive 55th Street & Ellis Walk to 5811 S Ellis Ave

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 20:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 12:00 - 17:00
Sunday 12:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(773) 702-8670

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About the Ren

The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago presents contemporary art exhibitions, events, and publications. “The Ren”—as we are known by many—is an independent, non-collecting museum driven by an uncompromising commitment to artists and their ideas. All exhibitions and events are free and open to the public.

We offer artists the time, space, resources, and freedom that are vital for ambitious experimentation and risk-taking. Our work with artists frequently results in newly commissioned art, and their presentations in our 3,000 sq ft gallery spur further scholarly and creative reflections in our publications and public programs.

Visitors to the Ren find a uniquely intimate platform for encountering artistic expressions that give form to, challenge, and complicate currents in contemporary thought. Events—including artist talks, lectures, screenings, concerts, readings, and more—offer further opportunities for discovery and discussion. We maintain robust archives, which are frequently accessed by art historians, students, and other institutions.

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