Current Exhibitions at the KIA

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My Hero: Contemporary Art & Superhero Action
February 3-May 13, 2018

My Hero presents a sprawling collection of 50-75 international artworks that explore iconic superhero imagery, along with reimagined interpretations of our classic heroes. The artists in the exhibition both pay homage to these universal idols, and also present critical questions about their popularity and God-like stature. Some artists in the exhibition also spin the fantasy further by imagining the hero as a child, as an aging being, and even as an animal. The variety of interpretations in My Hero is vast and challenging, dark and humorous, familiar yet new. The exhibition includes a wide array of media, including painting, illustration, photography, sculpture, mixed media and video.




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Dawoud Bey: Harlem, USA, and Harlem Redux
January 13-April 11, 2018

Dawoud Bey (born 1953) is distinguished for his commitment to portraiture as a means for understanding contemporary society. Raised in Queens, Bey and his family had roots in Harlem, and it was a youthful visit to the exhibition Harlem on My Mind at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that gave him the determination to become an artist. This exhibition, 39 years later, still takes viewers on a journey through this historic neighborhood. Bey is a professor of art and was named Distinguished College Artist at Columbia College Chicago, where he has taught since 1998. He studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York and holds an MFA in photography from Yale University. His work has been the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Walker Art Center; a four-year traveling exhibition, Class Pictures, mounted by Aperture and first shown at the Addison Gallery of American Art; and a traveling survey exhibition Dawoud Bey: Picturing People, at the Renaissance Society, Chicago. The Art Institute of Chicago in 2012 showed Harlem, U.S.A. in its entirety.




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Rhythmic Vitality: Six Principles of Chinese Painting
December 9 - March 25, 2018

The Six Principles have been described as the most influential paragraph ever written on the art of Chinese painting. Xie He, active ca. 500 C.E., was a painter and art critic who methodically outlined these six principles, which have persisted over 1500 years as criteria for creating, examining, and evaluating art in China. The spare language, utilizing just four characters to express each of Xie He's points, has allowed for broad interpretations and sparked debates over translation even well into the 20th century. The first and most important principle has sometimes been poetically translated as "Rhythmic Vitality" or "Spirit Harmony." Without this, the painter said, one need look no further. This exhibition will equip visitors to look further and with greater appreciation using concepts established by one of China's early art critics.




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Round & Round: The Circle at Center Stage
November 4, 2017-March 4, 2018

The circle is fundamental to human development and how we categorize what we see around us. This exhibition of works from the KIA collection presents the circle in myriad manifestations, as artists from diverse cultures recognize the circle's power as a line without beginning or end, symbolizing eternity and so much more. From hard-edged Op Art prints to photographs of natural objects, the circular form holds an attraction that cannot be denied, and serves as inspiration for immense artistic versatility. Works on view demonstrate the dramatic range and ubiquitous flexibility of the circular form.







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