Organized by the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago in collaboration with more than two dozen exhibition, programmatic, and research partner organizations across Chicago, Toward Common Cause: Art, Social Change, and the MacArthur Fellows Program at 40 is an expansive, multi-venue exhibition taking place throughout 2021.
The exhibition explores the extent to which certain resources—air, land, water, and even culture—can be held in common. Raising questions about inclusion, exclusion, ownership, and rights of access, the exhibition considers art’s vital role in society as a call to vigilance, a way to bear witness, and a potential act of resistance. Presented on the 40th anniversary of the MacArthur Fellows Program, Toward Common Cause employs the Fellows Program as “intellectual commons” and features new and recontextualized work by 29 visual artists who have been named Fellows since the award program’s founding in 1981.
Toward Common Cause: Art, Social Change, and the MacArthur Fellows Program at 40 is organized by the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago in collaboration with exhibition, programmatic, and research partners across Chicago. It is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Additional support for individual projects has been provided by Allstate; the Terra Foundation for American Art; the National Endowment for the Arts; The Joyce Foundation; David Zwirner; Hauser & Wirth; Kavi Gupta; a Mellon Collaborative Fellowship in Arts Practice and Scholarship at the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry; the Visiting Fellows Program at the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society; and the Smart Museum’s SmartPartners. In-kind support is provided by S.O.U.R.C.E. Studio, F.J. Kerrigan Plumbing Co, and JCDecaux.
Toward Common Cause is curated by Abigail Winograd, MacArthur Fellows Program Fortieth Anniversary Exhibition Curator, Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago.