The DePaul Art Museum’s new $7.8 million home at 935 W. Fullerton Ave., just east of the CTA’s Fullerton “L” stop, will debut with the Sept. 17 opening of “Re: Chicago.” The exhibition, which runs through March 4, 2012, examines the careers and artistic reputations of Chicago artists over more than a century.
Artworks in the exhibition were chosen by asking leading figures in the Chicago art world – from critics to scholars to collectors – to name a famous artist or one who should be famous.
“We wanted to explore how reputations are made, and also to give attention to how art is seen and talked about,” said Museum Director Louise Lincoln. “People understand art in a lot of different ways. If you’re a collector, you see it differently from how a scholar would see it. It’s all about the interaction between the viewer and the work. This seems obvious, but it is rarely addressed in exhibitions.”
Next to the artwork will be short written explanations by the nominators about why they made their choices, and visitors to the exhibition will be invited to give their input as well on computers in the galleries, said Lincoln, who also serves as curator of the show.
“The exhibition certainly has some surprises,” Lincoln said. “But the list of who’s included is complex, and I like that. Some choices were really unexpected – like Margaret Ianelli, a wonderful graphic designer from the early 20th century, who was not only a female in a man’s world, but was also mentally ill. I’m thrilled she’s in the show. Another unconventional choice was Nick Cave, whose ‘sound suits’ alter the body in radical ways.”
The new museum will open to the public Sept. 17 with an opening reception from 2 to 5 p.m. A symposium titled “Fame and Fortune” will also be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. the same day exploring issues in the “Re: Chicago” exhibition: the community, geography, economy and politics of Chicago as they relate to its history as an artistic city. Panelists include “Re: Chicago” catalog essayists Kirsten Jensen, Robert Cozzolino, Lynne Warren and Wendy Greenhouse.
Various additional events and programs, including faculty-run tours and a film festival, will be held throughout the show’s run. The museum is free and open to the public.
At 15,200 square feet, the new three-story building more than doubles the space the museum previously occupied at DePaul’s Richardson Library and includes space for class use, programs and events. The building’s mechanical systems are tailored to provide appropriate conditions for the care of artwork. A second-floor bay window facing the Fullerton “L” allows the museum to interact and communicate with commuters through messages and artwork.
Construction of the new art museum reflects DePaul’s broad commitment to the arts and parallels the university’s Performing Arts Campaign, which will improve the physical space for theatre and music education and performance on the Lincoln Park Campus.
“For our students and our community, direct access to the arts is an essential component of education,” said the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., president of DePaul. “Our new facilities for theatre and music will offer audiences an opportunity to see tomorrow’s performers in the making, and the new museum will let visitors, art and artists interact in novel ways. Art encourages the exploration of ideas in visual form and encourages new ways of thinking. That’s what a university is all about.”
DePaul has applied for LEED silver certification for the building based on its energy-efficient features, such as its partial green roof; reflective roof coatings; proximity to public transportation; water-efficient landscaping; stormwater system design; and energy-efficient heating, cooling and ventilation.
For more information about the program or museum, please call (773) 325-7506 or visit http://museums.depaul.edu/artwebsite/.
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