My Top Three Favorite Art Works at the MCA Chicago

Warning: This article mentions police brutality


The other weekend I visited Chicago for class, and went to two museums: The Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA). The MCA was the more interesting visit. The museum does a great job of hosting discussions about race and challenging societal ideals and values. For this reason, I want to share my top 3 works I saw in the MCA!

  1. 1. Titus Kaphar, Ascension, 2016

    This work comes from the Exhibit: Fragments of a Crucifixion, which the MCA describes: “Artists have used the crucifixion of Christ as a powerful symbol to address suffering and redemption in the history of racial violence in the United States. Fragments of a Crucifixion explores the continuing relevance of the crucifixion, even as our society becomes increasingly diverse in its religious beliefs.”

    This work stood out to me immediately, due to its striking comparison of NBA sports and religion in our modern society. The suffering of Christ exists in comparison to people of color’s suffering in the United States.

  2. 2. Jenny Holzer, For Chicago, 2007

    This work reigns in an exhibit titled DIRECT MESSAGE: ART, LANGUAGE, AND POWER. This specific piece highlights “hidden truths” of language. LED strips display French words going forwards and backwards. At points, the words are illegible, seemingly telling us that words are only understood when letters are in the perfect order. This could apply to a larger societal understanding—  there is only one way to do something.

  3. 3. Alexandra Bell, "A Teenager With Promise (Annotated)", 2017

    There are 3 parts to this work—  the first showing two newspaper articles with someone’s notes and scratchings. The first provides commentary on the newspaper’s words. The second eliminates words, leaving a new sentence. The third piece, to the right in the picture, is the result of the other two panels. Together, the three separate pieces work to highlight the bias in news reporting.

    To see the work more in depth and read the panels, visit:

Overall, contemporary art works to combat racism and highlight inequalities in society through art. In this case, art is used to communicate the artist’s experience. It is for this reason that the MCA Chicago is such a beautiful museum. 


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