Emerge Selections 2012


Xaviera Simmons, On Sculpture #2, 2011. Color photograph, edition 1 of 3; 40 × 50 in. (101.6 × 127 cm)
Courtesy of David Castillo Gallery, Miami
Jason Lazarus, Standing at the grave of Emmett Till, day of exhumation, June 1st, 2005 (Alsip, IL), 2005. Archival ink-jet print, edition 5 of 5; 43 × 56 in. (109.2 × 142.2 cm)
Courtesy of the artist and Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago


This exhibition brings together work by four artists, among them a collaborative pair, who are finalists in MCA Chicago’s annual Emerge Acquisition for 2012.

Emerge is an MCA donor group that supports the museum’s education, exhibition, and acquisition programs. Comprising art enthusiasts, collectors, and art patrons, Emerge sponsors events with artists and curators that reflect the dynamic issues of contemporary art today. With its annual acquisition, Emerge identifies and collectively funds the purchase of new work by artists not currently represented in the MCA Collection.

Through a series of meetings and discussions, MCA curators and Emerge members selected three works for consideration, on view here. In their short 16 mm film, João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva from Lisbon, Portugal, give shape to a poetic enigma using nothing more than a set of ordinary pots; and in their respective photographs, Jason Lazarus from Chicago and Xaviera Simmons from New York each suggest the tentative ways a photographic image can bridge first-hand experience and a sense of history. On April 18, Emerge members vote to decide which artwork becomes the newest addition to the MCA Collection.