Unique Art Exhibit Debuts On University Of Chicago Campus

Simone Levine, Curatorial Research Assistant, Global Contemporary Art, Smart Museum of Art
Photo credit WBBM Newsradio/Lisa Fielding

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Smart Museum of Art's latest exhibition has been 6 years in the making.

"We took down many walls for this exhibition to accommodate the shear size of the art works. You'll see the space is very different," said Simone Levine, Curatorial Research Assistant, Global Contemporary Art, Smart Museum of Art.

"The Allure of Matter: Material Art" from China features 48 pieces that are displayed between the Smart Museum and Wrightwood 659 in Lincoln Park.

"This exhibition focuses on the materials that Chinese artists have used and the importance of these materials in the art works," Levine said.

The art is made out of things like cigarettes, human hair, and human fat.

"There is a tent that is made of human hair, further away, there's an installation that's made of books that were washed in the washing machine, there is a huge tiger skin rug made of 500,000 cigarettes, that's just here in the Smart," she said.

Since the 1980s, artists working in China have experimented with various materials, transforming seemingly everyday objects into large-scale artworks.

A tower of human fat is also displayed in the Smart Museum.

"The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China" will be on display at the Smart Museum of Art and at Wrightwood 659 through May 3.

"This exhibition puts the Smart on the map nationally. If there's any time to visit us, it's now," Levine said.