Monochrome Multitudes

   September 22, 2022 – January 8, 2023
   Smart Museum of Art, Chicago, IL

Mohr, Manfred (1938- ) | P36-G/White Noise | 1970-71 | Plotter drawing in ink on paper | Jamie Stukenberg. Collection of the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation

Artists Included:
Carlos Cruz-Diez, Ellsworth Kelly, Manfred Mohr, Anne Truitt, and Günther Uecker

Monochrome Multitudes at the Smart Museum traces “the monochrome” as a fundamental if surprisingly expansive artistic practice, revisiting classic modernist ideas about flatness, idealized form, and colors.  This exhibition opens up this seemingly reductive art to reveal its global resonance and creative possibilities while working toward a more expansive narrative of 20th and 21st century art. Through the Museum Loan Program, the Thoma Foundation loaned five works to this exhibition by Carlos Cruz-Diez, Ellsworth Kelly, Manfred Mohr, Anne Truitt, and Günther Uecker, where art is presented in monochromatic groupings.  Rooms of blue, white, yellow, gray, black, and red works alternate with thematic sections where single colors engage concerns with the body, urban space, sound, and other topics. The exhibition suggests that works that look alike are often quite different, and that works that look different can share historical, thematic, or conceptual propositions.