Ed Paschke, Elcina, 1973. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Albert J. Bildner.
Philip Hanson, Rousseau's Lily, 1972. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Albert J. Bildner.
Enrico Baj, Punching General, 1970. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Milton Ratner. © 1970 Enrico Baj.
Gladys Nilsson, Reclyning Blackveenus Rabbit, 1971. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Albert J. Bildner.
This season marks the 45th anniversary of the Museum of Contemporary Art’s decision in the late 1960s to become a collecting institution. In "First Fifty," a new exhibit that opened over the weekend, the museum pays tribute to the first 50 artworks it collected (from 1968 through 1974), the cornerstone pieces that subsequently shaped the identity of the MCA.
Of those premiere pieces, only 19 remain in the MCA’s permanent collection—some were sold to private individuals in auction and will be displayed as photographic reproductions. The other missing items were deaccessioned and are represented in this exhibit by related materials from the archives. Displayed in chronological order, the exhibit starts with a sculpture entitled Six Women by Marisol, a Venezuelan artist that was donated to the MCA in 1968. The 49 works following include pieces from Enrico Baj, Alexander Calder, Chuck Close, and many more. "First Fifty" runs through August 19. 220 E. Chicago Ave., 312-280-2660