Terra Foundation-supported Events

Exhibition: Bill Walker: Urban Griot

William “Bill” Walker (1933–2011), was a prolific muralist best known for creating the iconic Wall of Respect on Chicago’s South Side in collaboration with the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC). Urban Griot highlights Walker’s artwork beyond the wall, spanning three series of drawings and several small paintings that he made between 1979 and 1984. The artwork, borrowed from Chicago State University’s collection, is a forceful documentation of the ills of Black urban society that still prevail today.

The exhibition is presented as part of Art Design Chicago, an exploration of Chicago’s art and design legacy, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.

For more information, please visit: http://www.hydeparkart.org/exhibition-archive/bill-walker-urban-griot/

Exhibition: Barbara Jones-Hogu: Resist, Relate, Unite 1968–1975

Chicago-based artist Barbara Jones-Hogu was a central figure of the Black Arts Movement and a founding member of the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists (AfriCOBRA). Throughout her career she has worked in painting, printmaking, film, education, and has contributed to major projects including Chicago’s Wall of Respect mural. This is her first solo museum exhibition and features works on paper including woodcuts, etchings, lithographs, and screenprints.

This exhibition is presented as part of Art Design Chicago, an exploration of Chicago’s art and design legacy, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.

For more information, please visit: http://museums.depaul.edu/exhibitions/upcoming/

Exhibition: William Blake in the Age of Aquarius

William Blake and the Age of Aquarius  considers parallels between English artist and author William Blake’s time and mid-twentieth-century America, touching on such issues as political repression, social transformation, and struggles for civil rights. Blake’s protests against the conventions of his day were inspirational for many young Americans disillusioned by perceived cultural tendencies of social uniformity, materialism and consumerism, racial and gender discrimination, and environmental degradation. This generation sought in Blake a model of independence, imagination, and resistance to authority. The exhibition will feature American artists for whom Blake was an important inspiration and will include more than 130 paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, films, and posters, as well as original Blake prints and illuminated books from collections throughout the United States.

For more information, please visit:

Exhibition: Procession: The Art of Norman Lewis

This exhibition marks the first comprehensive overview of the art of Norman Lewis: a participant in the Harlem art community, an innovator of Abstract Expressionism and a politically-conscious activist. Covering the 1930s to 1970s, the 60 paintings and works on paper revolve chronologically and thematically around six motifs: In the City, Visual Sound, Rhythm of Nature, Ritual, Civil Rights and Summation.

For more information, please visit: https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/norman_lewis.html

Exhibition: László Moholy-Nagy: Future Present

Co-organized by the Art Institute of Chicago, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Future Present is the first comprehensive retrospective of Moholy-Nagy’s work in the United States in nearly 50 years. The exhibition brings together more than 300 works to survey the career of this multimedia artist. Moholy, as he was known, came to prominence as a professor at the Bauhaus art school in Germany (1923–28). In 1937 he founded the New Bauhaus in Chicago, a school that continues today as the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

This exhibition is also on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (February 12–June 18, 2017).

For more information, please visit: http://www.artic.edu/exhibition/are-you-modern-moholy-nagy

Exhibition: A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant-Garde, 1960s–1980s

This exhibition examines the creative activities and legacy of Charlotte Moorman, whose contributions as a visual artist, performance artist, musician, and advocate for the artistic avant-garde of the 1960s and ’70s in the United States and Europe have yet to find their place in scholarship or popular history. The exhibition features approximately 100 objects, ranging from original sculptures, photographs, video art works, recreated installation and performance art works, to annotated music scores, archival materials, film clips, and audio recordings.

The exhibition is also on view at Grey Art Gallery, New York University (fall 2016), and the Museum der Moderne Salzburg (spring 2017).

For more information, please visit:

Exhibition: The Monster Roster: Existentialist Art in Postwar Chicago

In 1959 artist and critic Franz Schulze dubbed a group of Chicago-based artists “the Monster Roster,” inspired by Leon Golub’s late 1940s images of distended, encrusted figures. The Monster Roster’s overtly psychological paintings, sculpture, and prints drew on classical mythology and art, as well as German Expressionism, to offer a biting critique of human nature. Despite being one of the most important Midwestern contributions to the development of American art, the significance of the Monster Roster has been largely overlooked. This exhibition brings together paintings, sculpture, and works on paper from the Smart Museum to examine the aesthetics of Golub and his compatriots—including Dominick DiMeo, Cosmo Campoli, June Leaf, Seymour Rosofsky, and Nancy Spero. It also sheds light on the group’s relationships with preceding generations of Chicago artists, as well as its influences on the well-known Chicago Imagists, who followed.

For more information, please visit:


Exhibition/Collection Loan: Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist

This exhibition considers the work of Archibald Motley (1891–1980) within an early-twentieth-century international modernist context. Motley’s works include observations of a vibrant and tumultuous African American community in the years just prior to and after the Great Depression, references to 1929–30 France, and reflections on the so-called “El Milagro Mexicano” in post-World War II Mexico. The exhibition has at its core paintings depicting one of Chicago’s historically black communities, Bronzeville. Motley intensely interrogates this community, picturing with equal sarcasm Chicago’s African American elites; the city’s rustic, recently disembarked southern migrants; and its unseemly “ne’er-do-wells and lowlifes.” This exhibition features approximately 47 of the artist’s paintings, including Between Acts (1935), from the Terra Foundation collection.

This exhibition is also on view at:

For more information, please visit:

Archibald j. Motley, Jr., Between Acts, 1935. Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2009.1
Exhibition: Gather Up the Fragments: The Andrews Shaker Collection

Less than 20 years after their founding in Manchester, England, in 1758, the Shakers immigrated to America and spread across New England, New York, Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. Organized by the Hancock Shaker Village—a historic site in Pittsfield, MA, dedicated to the group’s history—this Terra Foundation-supported exhibition tells two stories through its presentation of more than 190 Shaker objects, including crafts and household artifacts. First, through a recognizable aesthetic and style of crafts, it recounts the story of the religious movement, commonly known as the Shakers. Second, it examines the role of Faith and Edward Andrews—avid collectors, dealers, and ultimately scholars—in the preservation of the Shaker heritage from the 1920s to the 1960s. Their vast collection, now donated, forms the nucleus of the holdings at the Hancock Shaker Village.

For more information, please visit:

Exhibition: The Left Front: Radical Art in the “Red Decade,” 1929–1940

Organized by the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, this Terra Foundation-supported exhibition will explore the links between art and leftist politics in 1930s America, especially as connected to the John Reed Club (JRC) and the American Artists Congress (AAC). Through prints, paintings, posters, rare books, and ephemera drawn from the Block, the Terra Foundation, and other local collections, the exhibition will highlight how artists embraced radical political history, with special attention to Chicago. During the exhibition’s run, the museum’s main gallery will be converted into a makeshift John Reed Club, a site for free lectures, readings, debates, discussions, artistic production, and performances related to the exhibition’s historic period and themes.

For more information, please visit: