The MCA’s exhibitions feature the art of our time in every possible media by artists of local and international renown. Explore the variety of MCA exhibitions on view now, coming up next, or from our rich past. Images in this section are published for educational use under the umbrella of the Fair Use doctrine.

Past exhibitions


  • Atrium Project:Ad Minoliti
    An abstracted group of curvy shapes is flatly rendered in vivid shades of green, purple, pink, red, and blue.
  • The Shape of the Future
    In a complex but quiet scene, a tennis court occupies the foreground. Behind the court are a line of modernist buildings, with the Egyptian pyramids looming in the distance.
  • Routes and Territories
    Two adults stand in an open field.
  • Becoming the Breeze: Alex Chitty with Alexander Calder
    A screen capture of a YouTube video shows a small yellow mobile on a table. Above it, a person with red lips appears to blow on it.
  • Mika Rottenberg: Easypieces
    In a short animation, light-skinned hands with vivid yellow finger nails repeatedly massage a large mass of mint-green goo.
  • Chicago Works:Assaf Evron
    A photograph of a light-colored rock formation shows a cross-section of sediment lines.
    1. Long A photographic print of a desert scene features a rock formation against a blue sky on a sun-filled day. The formation is made up of layers of sediment colored in a range of cream, sand, tan, and umber. The sun rakes across the surface to reveal the texture of the rock and creates long shadows. The central sediment lines are squiggly, winding horizontally across the surface of the rock. Dark crevices appear at the base of the formation and small, dried-up vegetation grows sporadically across the rocky ground. It appears as though it could dried-up riverbed.
  • Commons Artist Project:blkHaUS studios
    Two people stand on small mounds that are woven like wicker baskets. They are surrounded by four other similar mounds and urban greenery.
  • Direct Message: Art, Language, and Power
    Seven black-and-white illustrations hang on a white wall. While some depict what appears to be images of violence, others show mundane objects like a bed, cart, and raft.
  • Atrium Project:Ellen Berkenblit
    A yellow, spotted leopard opens its mouth and bares its teeth.
  • Benefit Art Auction 2019
    A pixelated green lattice against a black background creates an effect like a mass of land on a map. A neon green swirl enters the image from the right side.
  • Fragments of a Crucifixion
    A basketball player leaping toward the hoop as if to dunk looks as if their body is collaged with an image of Jesus Christ wearing a crown of thorns. A large audience looks on.
  • Prisoner of Love
    The words "DEATH," "LOVE," "HATE," "PLEASURE," "PAIN," and "LIFE" appear in illuminated neon, organized in a circle against a black background. In order, their colors are orange, purple, pink, green, and blue.
  • Commons Artist Project:Brendan Fernandes, A Call and Response
    1. Long Two people perform in an empty outdoor parking lot, one lunging and one leaning back, with their arms extended forward and wrists flexed. They seem to face each other, but the masculine person is closer to you and the feminine person is several paces further back. Their dark skin is highlighted by bright sunlight shining toward you that casts their shadows on the asphalt. The sky is blue and palm trees are in the background.
  • Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech”
    A dark-skinned arm holds up two fingers in a peace symbol from behind a monochrome light-blue mannequin.
  • Can You Hear Me Now?
    In a blue-tinted image a stream of water pours directly into a person's ear.
  • Jonathas de Andrade: One to One
    A man wearing a striped polo shirt purses his lips while placing his index fingers in each ear.
  • Chicago Works:Jessica Campbell
    A lopsided man who appears inebriated sits jauntily in a chair. One of his hands holds a smoking cigar while the other rests on the curvaceous butt of a nearby woman who stands, painting on an easel.
  • Commons Artist Project:Public Fiction with Triple Canopy
    A yellow-tinged scene features three sculptural busts resting upright on a transparent pedestal. Two smiling McDonald's chicken nugget characters face forward in front of a shimmery backdrop.
  • Groundings
    A nude adult with masculine shoulders wears cowboy boots on their hands and feet. They stand on one of their hands with their feet splayed across the corner of a room lit in red.
    1. Long A person poses dramatically balanced on one arm, limbs spread in various directions–each adorned with a cowboy boot. One booted arm points towards us and both legs splay out to touch the walls of the nearby corner. The person faces away from you, back flexing from the contortion of their pose. The lighting of the photograph is dramatic and dream-like, with one light source casting red shadows and an orange glow, while another light casts green shadows. The figure's shadow spreads across the wall revealing the outline of male genitals.
  • Laurie Simmons: Big Camera/Little Camera
    A black-and-white photo shows a film camera next to a much smaller version of itself.
  • Atrium Project:Federico Herrero
    A large wall features a prominent, colorful mural. Light shining from windows casts colorful shadows on the floor.
  • Heaven and Earth: Alexander Calder and Jeff Koons
    Small white circles connected by thin wire balance opposite a thicker orange wire weighted by an orange rudder-like shape hanging from the edge of a white table.
  • a body measured against the earth
    A photo of a picturesque countryside with stone ruins features a dark, human-like form in the dry dirt.
    1. Long In this vertical photograph, the bottom half of the image is taken up by a gray stone maze and, in the foreground, dry gray dirt with extremely sparse grass. On the ground is a vaguely humanoid impression, with a head, two arms, and a torso. It appears to be made with some kind of liquid, creating a deeply saturated brown imprint in the arid soil. In the distance, behind the stone maze, are lush rolling hills and mountains covered in dense foliage including one large tree. The top of the photo is occupied by dense white clouds. The color of the photo is slightly desaturated, giving it an archaic, desolate feeling.
  • Enrico David: Gradations of Slow Release
    A sculpture shaped like a crooked letter X stands on a short rectangular base. From the center many spokes jut out creating a starburst effect.
  • West by Midwest
    A black-and-white photograph of two men shaking hands is mounted to a light-colored piece of wood.
    1. Long A black-and-white photograph with white borders is affixed to a small wood board with photo corners. The photo shows a scene in a supper club or restaurant. It features two fair-skinned, dark-haired men in suits standing, shaking hands. The man on the left holds a small box and the man on the right extends his left hand to receive it. In the foreground, two seated, light-skinned people with long dark glossy hair look up at the men from their table. The two men look directly at us. A date stamp reading "JAN 3 1968" appears in the bottom border of the photo. The ends of two knotted leather cords emerge above and below the photo on the left side of the wooden board, seemingly binding the board like a book cover. A signature reading "Edward Ruscha" appears on the board in blue ink below the image, and the initials "B.A.B." are signed and underlined in black on the wood above the mounted photograph.