“Negotiating Rapture”

Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA Chicago)

How do you negotiate, or come to terms with, rapture? Shouldn’t rapture be felt, rather than contested, adjudicated, or philosophized? To inaugurate the Museum of Contemporary Art’s grand new building, curator Richard Francis has created “Negotiating Rapture,” an entrance into the realm of the exalted, the sublime, the transformative. Like the term “rapture” itself—much less familiar than the overworked concept of the sublime—nothing about this exhibition is easy or expected.

Eleven artists, belonging to several of the generations active during the postwar era, appear in the following order: James Lee Byars, Ad Reinhardt, Agnes Martin, Bill Viola, Francis Bacon, Anselm Kiefer, Barnett Newman (with his quintessential The Promise, 1949), Bruce Nauman, Shirazeh Houshiary, Joseph Beuys, Lucio Fontana. The sequence generates some tough juxtapositions: how do you make the transition from, say,

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the October 1996 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.