Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago Opens at MCA


I had a great opportunity to preview the newest exhibition at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, DURO OLOWU: SEEING CHICAGO which opens February 29, 2020. It was such a fabulous guided gallery tour by curator Naomi Beckwith and fashion designer/ guest curator Duro Olowu. 

All the works in the exhibition were selected by Duro Olowu from Chicago’s many public and private collections. Moving away from traditional exhibition formats, Olowu combines photographs, paintings, sculptures, books, and films using a salon-style way of hanging the exhibition as you can see from my photos. The show presents a way of seeing Chicago from an outsider’s eye by sampling a selection of the many fabulous works of art residing in homes, museums and institutions of this great city. “I chose Chicago but Chicago also chose me” said Olowu as he closed his remarks during the exhibition’s tour.

As you make your way along the exhibition taking over the 4th floor MCA galleries, you will enjoy the curatorial selection evolving from portraiture, landscape, abstraction, surrealism, social, political and other carefully orchestrated themes. The exhibition incorporates works ranging from master artists such as Henri Matisse and René Magritte to contemporary artists Dawoud Bey, Barbara Kruger, Simone Leigh, Kerry James Marshall, and many others.

The show culminates with a beautiful installation of unique fabrics and evocative patterns that reflects Olowu’s own vision for art, design and ways of seeing. In this show, there is definitely something for everyone; works to remember, reimagine or discover for the very first time. 

Exhibition runs from Feb 29 to May 10, 2020 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

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