R
Nov 14–Dec 20, 2015

Let Us Celebrate While Youth Lingers and Ideas Flow, Archives 1915–2015

uncovered section of Raymond Pettibon’s 1998 mural on the walls outside the Renaissance Society

  • uncovered section of Raymond Pettibon’s 1998 mural on the walls outside the Renaissance Society

  • Let Us Celebrate While Youth Lingers and Ideas Flow: Archives 1915–2015, installation view. Gray Center Lab, 2015. Photo: Tom Van Eynde.

  • Left: Michel Auder, Endless Column, 2011. Right: Gaylen Gerber, Backdrop/Let Us Celebrate While Youth Lingers and Ideas Flow: Archives 1915–2015. Installation view, Gray Center Lab, 2015. Photo: Tom Van Eynde.

  • detail of William Pope.L, Well, 2015. Photo: Tom Van Eynde.

  • Renaissance Society founding documents with Joan Jonas maquettes, 2004. On wall: William Pope.L, Well (detail), 2015. Photo: Tom Van Eynde.

  • Left: Julia Fish, Key, 1981. Center: Rodney Graham, School of Velocity and Parsifal notebook sketches, 1995. Right: William Pope.L, Well (detail), 2015. Photo: Tom Van Eynde.

  • William Pope.L, Well (detail), 2015. Photo: Tom Van Eynde.

  • Let Us Celebrate While Youth Lingers and Ideas Flow: Archives 1915–2015, installation view. Gray Center Lab, 2015. Photo: Tom Van Eynde.

  • Miyoko Ito, Island in the Sun, 1978. Photo: Tom Van Eynde.

  • Piece of the metal “grid” that hung in the Renaissance Society Cobb Hall gallery, 1979–2014. Photo: Tom Van Eynde.

  • Yutaka Sone, Untitled (Snowballs), 2006, installation view. Gray Center Lab. Photo: Tom Van Eynde.

  • Felix Gonzalez-Torres, “Untitled” (Revenge), 1991, installation view. Wieboldt Hall, Room 205, the Renaissance Society’s first dedicated exhibition space, 1930–38. Photo: Tom Van Eynde.

  • Archival documents, installation view. Wieboldt Hall, Room 205, the Renaissance Society’s first dedicated exhibition space, 1930–38. Photo: Tom Van Eynde.

  • Felix Gonzalez-Torres, “Untitled” (Revenge), 1991, installation view. Goodspeed Hall, Room 106, the Renaissance Society’s second exhibition space, 1938–79. Photo: Tom Van Eynde.

  • Helen Mirra, Schlafbau, 1995, installation view. Wieboldt Hall, Room 205, the Renaissance Society’s first dedicated exhibition space, 1930–38. Photo: Tom Van Eynde.

  • uncovered section of Raymond Pettibon’s 1998 mural on the walls outside the Renaissance Society

  • Left: Invitation to 1931 lecture by Mr. Thomas Whittemore. Right: 1998 snapshot by Susanne Ghez of Raymond Pettibon painting Renaissance Society hallway mural. Installation view, hallway vitrine, Cobb Hall. Photo: Tom Van Eynde.

  • Felix Gonzalez-Torres, “Untitled” (Revenge), 1991, installation view. Renaissance Society offices, Cobb Hall. Photo: Tom Van Eynde.

  • Main location:

    Additional locations:

    All locations follow the Renaissance Society’s usual opening hours.


    History is both distributed and without title, unresolved and yet endlessly organized. For the Renaissance Society, that history comprises 100 years of artists, artworks, audiences, exhibitions, lectures, performances, publications, correspondence, posters, sketches, notes, and conversations. As a non-collecting institution, our past is sustained through a growing series of archival boxes and the fleeting memories that can’t fit inside.

    Named for a work by artist Ree Morton that was presented at the Renaissance Society in 1981, Let Us Celebrate… pits joyous optimism against the weight of history, considering how long youth lingers and how the institution serves as a conduit for the flow of ideas. The exhibition aims to not only present the past, but also new ideas about the nature of the archive and the plasticity of the ever-evolving present moment. With a base at the University of Chicago’s historic Midway Studios, it also spreads to former homes of the Renaissance Society on the campus in Goodspeed and Wieboldt Halls, and its current site on the fourth floor of Cobb Hall.

    The exhibition tells the story of the Renaissance Society’s first century through primary source materials, including photographs, notes, sketches, exhibition cards, posters, books, faxes, and more. A number of these documents are on loan from the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art, which hosts the Renaissance Society’s archives from 1915 to 1965, and the Special Collections Research Center at the University of Chicago.

    These artifacts are complemented by a number of artworks from the institution’s recent past, selected for their relationships to time, history, memory, organization, and the construction of context. They do not constitute a “group show,” but rather serve as punctuation for the artifacts presented. Participating artists include Michel Auder, Julia Fish, Gaylen Gerber, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Rodney Graham, Miyoko Ito, Helen Mirra, William Pope.L, and Yutaka Sone.

    Let Us Celebrate… is accompanied by a series of public programs that animate particular histories from the last century.

    This exhibition is part of the Renaissance Society’s Centennial program. Read more.

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