Marcos Raya – Night Train

Opening Reception: Friday, June 2, 2017, 6-9pm

June 2 - July 30, 2017

Chicago artist Marcos Raya has a long, established career and a varied practice, with topics that range from futurism and surrealism, to social, sexual and political commentary. In this solo exhibition, the scope of Raya’s work is narrowed to highlight some of the most poignant and resonate subjects that he explores. Raya regularly includes his own image and autobiography into his work, including some of the darker experiences from his life and the world around him. The artist approaches issues like alcoholism, illness, war, poverty and racism with understanding, criticality and astonishing insight, also imbuing these grim topics with a unique combination of wit, absurdity and strangeness.

Born in Mexico, Marcos Raya has become an inextricable part of Chicago’s artistic landscape. Known in the 1970s and 1980s as a prominent Pilsen muralist, Raya has long been active both personally and artistically in social and political issues; these topics continue to permeate his studio practice of painting, collage and found object works. The artist studied at Windsor Mountain Preparatory School in Lenox, MA. Raya has exhibited widely throughout the country and internationally, including such venues as Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City, Mexican Museum in San Francisco, the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, the Chicago Cultural Center, Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Raya’s work is in the permanent collections of the MCA Chicago, the National Museum of Mexican Art, and the Smart Museum at the University of Chicago. Raya’s murals can be seen on the streets of Pilsen to this day.

Curated by Robin Dluzen and Stanislav Grezdo

Gallery Talk: Marcos Raya and Lynne Warren, Saturday, June 24, 2017, 2pm

Preview exhibition – HERE



Selections from Permanent Collection

January 13 - July 4, 2017

After a year of special exhibitions in UIMA’s East gallery, the museum welcomes back our permanent collection with “PictureHeads”: an exhibition of traditional and cutting-edge figurative works that reference the head. For some artists, the head is depicted as a customary part of the figure study. For others, the individual identity of the person represented in the portrait is paramount, using that visage as a vehicle for narrative. Still others simply employ the proportions of the head as a trope: a formal framework on which to enact all kinds of artistic investigations.


This selection from UIMA’s permanent collection includes works by artists of Ukrainian descent, as well as artists from Chicago and around the world: Peter Blake, Jacques Hnizdovsky, Wasyl Kacurovsky, Andrij Kowalenko, Gregor Kruk, Marion Kryczka, Lialia Kuchma, John Kurtz, Kyshakevych-Kachaluba, Paul  LaMantia, Omelian Mazuryk, Art Paul, Lida Petruniak-Colucci, William Platz, Mykola Ridnyi, Jurij Solovij and Mychajlo Urban.

As UIMA celebrates its 45th Anniversary, the gallery’s south wall features works by and about some of the most influential figures in UIMA’s history, including Lialia Kuchma’s tapestry portrait of former UIMA curator Wasyl Kacurovsky; a self portrait by Kacurovsky himself; two paintings by one of UIMA’s founding artists, Mychajlo Urban; Gregor Kruk’s bronze sculpture of founding patron, Dr. Achilles Chreptowsky; and Lida Petruniak-Colucci’s screen print portrait of founding artist, Konstantin Milonadis.