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.