In conjunction with Monochrome Multitudes, the Smart Museum of Art and University of Chicago partners present a quarter-long artist talk series.
Join Haegue Yang and other exhibiting artists as they consider the rich and sometimes idiosyncratic references and resonances in their own work, while also speaking to the histories of the monochrome and abstraction broadly conceived.
FREE, but space is limited. Advanced registration encouraged »
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Spanning a vast range of media—from collage to kinetic sculpture and room-scaled installations—Haegue Yang’s work links disparate histories and traditions in a visual idiom all her own. The artist draws on a variety of craft techniques and materials, and the cultural connotations they carry: from drying racks to venetian blinds, hanji paper to artificial straw. She is known for her multisensory environments that activate perception beyond the visual, creating immersive experiences that treat issues such as labor, migration and dislocation, replete with references to various moments of abstraction throughout art history.
Haegue Yang (b. 1971, Seoul) lives and works between Berlin and Seoul. She serves as Vice-Rector of the Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, where she also graduated as Meisterschüler in 1999. A recipient of Germany’s Wolfgang Hahn Prize in 2018, Yang has been the subject of major solo exhibitions at museums around the world, including the Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen (2022); the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2020); Tate St. Ives, United Kingdom (2020); National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (2020); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2019); Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2018); Centre George Pompidou, Paris (2016); Leeum Museum of Art, Seoul (2015); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2012); and the Korean Pavilion of the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009). Her work has been the subject of numerous essays and monographs and is included in public collections across Europe, Asia, and the Americas.
Yang will be represented in Monochrome Multitudes with a new installation commissioned by the Smart Museum as part of the ongoing Threshold series, titled Sol LeWitt Upside Down onto Wall – Modular Wall Structure, Expanded 20 Times, a sculpture in venetian blinds inspired by Sol LeWitt’s modular white grids set against a “quasi-Yves Klein Blue” wall, as well as a series of spice prints, titled Cinnamon Sheets Composition, on loan from a local private collector.
This exhibition traces “the monochrome” as a fundamental if surprisingly expansive artistic practice. Revisiting classic modernist ideas about flatness, idealized form, and colors, Monochrome Multitudes opens up this seemingly reductive art to reveal its global resonance and creative possibilities while working toward a more expansive narrative of 20th and 21st century art.
Within the exhibition, art is presented in monochromatic groupings—rooms of blue, white, yellow, gray, black, and red works respectively—alternating with thematic sections where single colors engage concerns with the body, urban space, sound, and other topics. Switching between these two types of spaces, the exhibition suggests that works that look alike are often quite different, and that works that look different can share historical, thematic, or conceptual propositions. Throughout, Monochrome Multitudes engages North American art in a global dialogue and emphasizes the significance of multiple media ranging from weaving to wall-painting to video, and multiple materials including footballs, pantyhose, and Vinylite.
Monochrome Multitudes features works by Magdalena Abakanowicz, Mary Abbott, Josef Albers, Alphonse Allais, Lynda Benglis, Ernő Berda, Mark Bradford, Alexander Calder, Enrico Castellani, Alan Cohen, Bethany Collins, Barbara Crane, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Jaime Davidovich, Walter De Maria, José de Rivera, Roy DeCarava, Beauford Delaney, Laddie John Dill, Charles and Ray Eames, Lucio Fontana, Helen Frankenthaler, Theaster Gates, Frank Gehry, Felix Gonzales-Torres, Wade Guyton, Irena Haiduk, David Hartt, Arturo Herrera, Carmen Herrera, Sheila Hicks, Jörg Immendorff, Lotte Jacobi, Derek Jarman, Rashid Johnson, Jennie C. Jones, Samuel Levi Jones, Ellsworth Kelly, Byron Kim, Lyman Kipp, Yves Klein, Yayoi Kusama, Tadaaki Kuwayama, Kwon Young-woo, Lee Ufan, Marilyn Lenkowsky, Ma Qiusha, Sally Mann, Allan McCollum, Manfred Mohr, Linda Montano, Mun Pyung, Louise Nevelson, Barnett Newman, Jules Olitski, Palermo, Palermo & Gerhard Richter, Dan Peterman, Francis Picabia, John Plumb, Avery Preesman, Tobias Rehberger, Ad Reinhardt, Dorothea Rockburne, Ugo Rondinone, Robert Ryman, Fred Sandback, Joe Scanlan, David Schutter, Richard Serra, F.N. Souza, Ted Stamm, Jessica Stockholder, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Hiroyuki Tajima, Tony Tasset, Anne Truitt, Naama Tsabar, William Turnbull, James Turrell, Raoul Ubac, Günther Uecker, Günter Umberg, Wolf Vostell, H. C. Westermann, Amanda Williams, Karl Wirsum, Haegue Yang, Yang Jiechang, and Claire Zeisler.
Monochrome Multitudes is part of the Smart Museum’s ongoing “Expanding Narratives” series that mobilizes collection installations to reevaluate canonic histories and curatorial strategies. The majority of the approximately 120 works on display are drawn from the Smart Museum’s collection. They are supplemented by a number of loans from UChicago alumni, Chicago-area collections, and beyond.
Image: Claire Zeisler, Triptych, 1967, Knotted and tied dyed wool. Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Joel Starrels, Sr., 1973.213a-c.