The Long Dream

  • Griffin Galleries of Contemporary Art
    Fourth Floor
    220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Featured images

Lise Haller Baggesen refuseniks in the wild, 2017 Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
Photo: Federico del Vecchio. Courtesy of the artist
Nick Cave, Arm Peace, 2019 Cast bronze and tole flowers 83 × 24 × 12 ¼ in. (130.8 × 48.3 × 31.1 cm)
Photo: James Prinz. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery
Mariano Chavez The Caller, 2015 Wasp paper, honeycomb, bees wax on plaster form with encaustic and pencil
Courtesy of the artist
Jesse Howard The Bewitching Hour, 2015 Mixed media 30 × 29 ½ in
Courtesy of the artist
Kevin Weil still from Demonstration, 2019 Single-channel video 12 min. 1 sec
Courtesy of the artist
Edra Soto Tropicalamerican, 2014
Inkjet print on silk 5 pieces, each: 67 × 43 in, Photo: James Prinz. Courtesy of the artist

Artists help us see our world more clearly. What aspects, which might have gone ignored in the past, can they help us see now?

Against the backdrop of a global pandemic and a renewed reckoning over racial justice and inequality, The Long Dream invites visitors to see the city of Chicago, the world, and themselves, through the eyes of more than 70 local artists whose work offers us ways to imagine a more equitable and interconnected world.

Named after the 1958 novel by socially committed author Richard Wright, The Long Dream brings together work by both emerging and established Chicago artists, and includes painting, performance, sculpture, video, and sound art. The exhibition extends beyond the gallery walls into the digital space, culminating in a live arts event in January where artists from across the exhibition will share their work.

The Long Dream is organized collectively by the Artistic Division, which includes the museum's curatorial, learning, and content teams. It is presented in the Griffin Galleries of Contemporary Art on the museum's fourth floor.

content warning

The artwork How much does this moment weigh for you? includes a bright, motion-activated light that may affect photosensitive visitors

artists in this exhibition

artists in this exhibition

Alberto Aguilar (Mexican and American, b. 1974)
Madeleine Aguilar (Mexican and American, b. 1998)
Candida Alvarez (American, b. 1955)
Jeanette Andrews (American, b. 1990)
Selva Aparicio (Catalonian, b. 1987)
Lise Haller Baggesen (Danish, b. 1969)
Sarah Bastress (American, b. 1989)*
Jonas N.T. Becker (American, b. 1982)
Dawoud Bey (American, b. 1953)
Nick Cave (American, b. 1959)
Mariano Chavez (American, b. 1974)
Diane Christiansen (American, b. 1958) and Jeanne Dunning (American, b. 1960) with Steve Dawson (American, b. 1965))
Jessica Christy (American, b. 1986)
Mike Cloud (American, b. 1974)
Bethany Collins (American, b. 1984)
Experimental Sound Studio (collective, established 1986)
Brendan Fernandes (Canadian, b. Kenya, 1979)
Julia Fish (American, b. 1950)
Joanna Furnans (American, b. 1980)*
Max Guy (American, b. 1989)*
Andres L. Hernandez (American, b. 1974)
Paul Heyer (American, b. 1982)
shawné michaelain holloway (American, b. 1991)
Jesse Howard (American, b. 1952)
Aaron Hughes (American, b. 1982)*
Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford (American, b. 1983)
Manal Kara (Moroccan and American, b. 1986)*
Jin Soo Kim (American, b. Korea, 1950)
Wesley Kimler (American, b. 1953)
Kirsten Leenaars (Dutch, b. 1976)
Riva Lehrer (American, b. 1958)
Tony Lewis (American, b. 1986)
Tonika Lewis Johnson (American, b. 1979)
Damon Locks (American, b. 1968)*
Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle (American, b. Spain, 1961)
Derek McPhatter (American, b. 1979)
Miller & Shellabarger (American collective, established 1993)
Devin T. Mays (American, b. 1985)
Cae Monāe (American, b. 1993)
Corinne Mucha (American, b. 1983)
Floating Museum (American collective, established 2016) with Cecil McDonald Jr. (American, b. 1965)
Ryan Nault (American, b. 1991)
Jeroen Nelemans (Dutch, b. 1974)
Gladys Nilsson (American, b. 1940)
Jim Nutt (American, b. 1938)
William J. O'Brien (American, b. 1975)
OTV – Open Television (collective, established 2015)
Chris Pappan (Kanza/Osage, Lakota, b. 1971)
Kamau Amu Patton (American, b. 1972)
Nereida Patricia (American, b. 1996)
Ebony G. Patterson (Jamaican, b. 1981)
Claire Pentecost (American, b. 1956)
Jefferson Pinder (American, b. 1970)
Cheryl Pope (American, b. 1980)
William Pope.L (American, b. 1955)
Quarantine Times (American collective, established 2020)*
Eduardo F. Rosario (Puerto Rican, b. 1988)
Jason Salavon (American, b. 1970)
Moises Salazar (American, b. 1996)
Farah Salem (Kuwaiti, b. 1991)
Darling “Shear” Squire
Andy Slater (American, b. 1975)
Edra Soto (Puerto Rican, b. 1971)
Leonard Suryajaya (Indonesian, b. 1988)
Selina Trepp (Swiss and American, b. 1973)
Jina Valentine (American, b. 1979)
Kevin Weil (American, b. 1990)
Rhonda Wheatley (American, b. 1972)
Amanda Williams (American, b. 1974)
Bernard Williams (American, b. 1964)
Sadie Woods (American, b. 1978)
Derrick Woods-Morrow (American, b. 1990)
SANTIAGO X (Koasati and Chamoru, b. 1982)
Guanyu Xu (Chinese, b. 1993)
Debra Yepa-Pappan (Jemez Pueblo and Korean, b. 1971)
Nate Young (American, b. 1981)
Kiki Jia Qi Zhen (Chinese, b. 1996)

* This artist withdrew from the exhibition.

Installation Images

Installation view, The Long Dream, MCA Chicago November 7, 2020–January 17, 2021
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
Installation view, The Long Dream, MCA Chicago November 7, 2020–January 17, 2021
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
Installation view, The Long Dream, MCA Chicago November 7, 2020–January 17, 2021
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
Installation view, The Long Dream, MCA Chicago November 7, 2020–January 17, 2021
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
Installation view, The Long Dream, MCA Chicago November 7, 2020–January 17, 2021
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Online Video Gallery

Performance, music, documentation, and more were available in an online gallery space as an extension of The Long Dream’s physical presence in the gallery. The online video gallery was available during the run of the exhibition, closing to the public on May 2, 2021.


Lead support is provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the Harris Family Foundation in memory of Bette and Neison Harris: Caryn and King Harris, Katherine Harris, Toni and Ron Paul, Pam Szokol, Linda and Bill Friend, and Stephanie and John Harris; Kenneth C. Griffin and the Zell Family Foundation.

Major support is provided by Anne L. Kaplan; Julie and Larry Bernstein; Citi Private Bank; Robert J. Buford; Lois and Steve Eisen and the Eisen Family Foundation; Becky and Lester Knight; the Kovler Family Foundation; Liz and Eric Lefkofsky; Gael Neeson, Edlis Neeson Foundation; Cari and Michael Sacks and Karyn and Bill Silverstein.

Generous support is provided by Anonymous; Jack and Sandra Guthman; Jana and Bernardo Hees; The Loewenberg Charitable Foundation, Robin Loewenberg and Mark Tebbe; Douglas and Yumi Ross; Carol Prins and John Hart/The Jessica Fund; and UnitedHealthcare.

Additional support is provided by Dr. John Edward Ellis.

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