Trials and Terrors


Kara Walker, Presenting Negro Scenes Drawn Upon My Passage through the South and Reconfigured for the Benefit of Enlightened Audiences Wherever Such May Be Found, By Myself, Missus K.E.B. Walker, Colored, 1997. Paper and watercolor on paper; 13 × 150 ft. (4 × 45.7 m). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Susan and Lewis Manilow, 1999.52. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Mark Manders, Table with Isolated Landscape, 2003. Wood, iron, and painted ceramic; 86 ½ × 79 ¼ × 118 ¾ in. (219.7 × 201.3 × 301.6 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, restricted gift of Nancy Lauter McDougal and Alfred McDougal, Judith Neisser, and Joseph and Jory Shapiro Fund by exchange, 2004.20. © 2003 Mark Manders. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Mike Kelley, Craft Morphology Flow Chart, 1991. Dolls and figures, gelatin silver prints, acrylic on paper, folding banquet tables, and folding card tables; overall dimensions variable. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Lannan Foundation, 1997.41. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.


Concentrating on large-scale installations as well as significant photographs, paintings, and sculptures drawn primarily from the MCA Collection, Trials and Terrors presents two intertwining themes: transformation through hardship and evocations of sinister phenomena and events. Works featured in the exhibition include Bruce Nauman’s Hanging Carousel (George Skins a Fox), in which the artist transformed a playful structure into a darkly morbid metaphorical exercise; Mike Kelley’s sprawlingly abject Craft Morphology Flowchart a suite of photographs from Larry Clark’s KIDS, a disturbing film about troubled adolescents; and Kara Walker’s Presenting Negro Scenes Drawn Upon My Passage through the South. A major new acquisition by Dutch artist Mark Manders is exhibited, along with works by Rob Fischer, Cady Noland, Tørbjorn Rødland, Chris Vasell, Gillian Wearing, and others.

This exhibition is curated by Pamela Alper Associate Curator Dominic Molon.


Support for the exhibition is generously provided by Barbara Ruben.

Air transportation is provided by American Airlines, the official airline of the Museum of Contemporary Art.