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Chicago Works | Andrea Carlson: Shimmer on Horizons

August 3, 2024 - February 2, 2025

Two side by side figures appear as statues. Each holds and bites a severed leg. Upside down text reads "Perpetual Genre."
Andrea Carlson, Perpetual Genre, 2024. Oil, acrylic, gouache, ink, color pencil, and graphite on paper; overall: 45.5 × 61 in. (115.6 × 154.9 cm). Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Block Board of Advisors Endowment Fund purchase, 2024.2a-d. © Andrea Carlson. Courtesy of the artist and Bockley Gallery.

Andrea Carlson (b. 1979, Ojibwe/European descent; based in northern Minnesota and Chicago, IL) considers how landscapes are shaped by history, relationships, and power. Her artworks imagine places that are “everywhere and nowhere,” visualizing these shifting yet ever-present dynamics. Grounded in Anishinaabe understandings of space and time, the works in this exhibition reflect on how land holds memories of colonial expansion and violence, Indigenous presence and resistance.

Across painting, video, and sculpture, Carlson organizes imagined landscapes around one constant: the horizon. This line is reminiscent of her homelands on Lake Superior. It is also a significant art historical trope that artists have employed to depict territories as vast and vacant, ripe for the taking. Carlson’s prismatic works are not empty: they are densely layered with an abundance of motifs, making reference to the tactics of colonialism as well as her family and peers, Ojibwe culture, and Indigenous sovereignty. Confronting histories of erasure and dispossession, Carlson proposes that what appears to be lost can be remade, reimagined, or otherwise regained.

Andrea Carlson is the 26th artist to participate in Chicago Works, a solo exhibition series at the MCA that features artists who are shaping contemporary art in the city and beyond. The exhibition is presented in the MCA’s Turner Gallery, on the museum’s fourth floor. It is curated by Iris Colburn, Curatorial Associate.



August 3, 2024
February 2, 2025
Event Category:


Wheelchair Accessible



In Person
Life-long Learners, Scholars, Teens, Families
Wheelchair Accessible, Bilingual
Event Topics
Activism, Community, Environment, Native American Arts, Women Artists




Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
220 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611 United States
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