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Chicago Works: Gregory Bae

Jun 28, 2022 - Mar 12, 2023

About the Exhibition

Time is a central material within the work of Gregory Bae (b. 1986, Salt Lake City, UT; d. 2021, Chicago, IL). Throughout this exhibition—the artist’s first solo museum presentation—everyday objects loop, stutter, or fail: a tire spins atop a treadmill, clocks tick in place, and acrylic frames preserve torn sheets of paper. By choreographing scenes of paused time, Bae imagines the possibility of resisting the inevitable forces of aging, deterioration, and separation.

Meticulously rendered landscapes—cloud-filled skies drawn in graphite, rain drops engraved into glass, a horizon filmed at daybreak—appear throughout the artist’s work, which attempts to overcome distances both physical and cultural. In particular, translation and travel between the United States and South Korea are recurrent themes throughout the exhibition.

While Bae’s projects speak in the broadest terms of time and space, they also carry traces of his personal experiences as a first-generation Korean American, moving fluidly between the universal and the intimate. Time, distance, and desire are inextricably linked within the artist’s work, in which twin impulses—to expand time and to overcome distance—are informed by feelings of longing: to inhabit two places at once, to preserve something as it is, or to share more time with someone.

Chicago Works: Gregory Bae is organized by Nolan Jimbo, Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow. It is presented in the Dr. Paul and Dorie Sternberg Family Gallery and Ed and Jackie Rabin Gallery on the museum’s third floor.

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Opening Reception Performance

This video documents sound artist Kikù Hibino’s peformance on July 9, 2022, during this exhibition’s opening celebration. Hibino’s electronic music set was conceived during his recent artist residency in Gregory Bae’s hometown of Salt Lake City, UT, and responded to the use of lines within Bae’s Ex Radios, a collage on view in the exhibition. The performance was organized by Nolan Jimbo, Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow.


Talk | 24-7, 365: A Roundtable on the Life and Work of Gregory Bae

On the occasion of Chicago Works: Gregory Bae, join artists Josh Dihle, Mika Horibuchi, and Tony Lewis—all of whom were close friends with Bae—for a broader look at his practice, as they share memories of his past projects, community organizing, and the context in which his work emerged. The discussion is moderated by Nolan Jimbo, Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow and curator of the exhibition.


Object Lesson: Laura-Caroline de Lara and Rodrigo Lara on Gregory Bae