On Friday Molly and I ventured to the MCA Chicago. The main exhibition right now is Language of Less (Then and Now). The exhibition was divided in two–artists’ work from the past and artists’ work from today. Below is my favorite work from the exhibition.
Tony Conrad, Yellow Movie, 2/28/73
The very large piece is meant to convey the inevitable decay of art and life. It is hard to tell from this picture but the area inside the black frame is covered in white paint. It is an active work because the white paint is slowly but surely becoming more yellow and worn–the effect of time. The massive sheet of paper shows creases, dirty spots, dripped ink, and a torn corner. For me those marks are what keep Yellow Movie alive in time. The marks of the person that created it, his intimate interaction with the canvas.
Click here to hear a quick clip of Conrad speaking about the work.
IT, Bagged Rothko, 1965*
The above piece was part of another exhibition in a gallery upstairs. I just enjoyed it for the surface value of the blatant echoing of a Mark Rothko painting. More on that later.
*The MCA listed the artists as IT which is a pseudonym. The National Gallery of Canada owns the piece and they list the artist as N.E. Thing Co..