The University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art announced a major reinstallation of its collection and the launch of Expanding Narratives, a three-year, three-part collections and exhibitions series.
The new series combines loans from UChicago alumni and Chicago-area collectors with works from the Smart’s collection. It offers a means to examine the content and role of the Museum’s collection, and the ways in which the addition of new works, particularly works by women and artists of color, can shift and expand narrative possibilities.
On view until Dec. 30, 2018, Expanding Narratives: The Figure and the Ground is the first version of the series, and will look at the formal relationship between human figures and the background of a work, offering a more inclusive approach to the art historical canon by giving pride of place to artists like Sam Gilliam, Lee Krasner, Kerry James Marshall, Joan Mitchell, Alice Neel, Cindy Sherman, Sylvia Sleigh, Kara Walker and Jack Whitten.
The exhibition will also incorporate interdisciplinary perspectives through the work of the Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry. Over the course of the exhibition, faculty from departments across the University will share interpretations of individual works, furthering the celebration of alternative voices and diverse points of view.
“As we look to the future, the Expanding Narratives series will offer a transparent platform for us to consider what constitutes a great university art museum collection in the 21st century,” said Alison Gass, the Dana Feitler Director of the Smart Museum.