“History of Painting" (2014) by Jan Tichy, part of aroundcenter at the Chicago Cultural Center (Feb 1-April 27, 2014)
In the spring of 2012, the Flaxman Library deacessioned their historic slide library, which had been used for teaching at the School and museum for decades. Rather than simply dispose of the collection, the slides were given back to the community, allowing students, staff, and faculty to take the slides for study, reference, or as raw material to create art.
Faculty member and artist Jan Tichy asked to take the bulk of what remained after the main giveaway. Rather than take the whole of the remaining slides, he took the @40,000 slides which made up the Painting section of the collection. As a part of his current exhibition aroundcenter, currently on display throughout the Chicago Cultural Center, 9,261 of these slides become the piece “History of Painting.” The slides make a mosaic across windows on the interior of the third floor of the south side of the Center, looking down on the top of the great dome. They are arranged by color, and as the light comes through the windows throughout the day, present an ever changing mosaic.
The staff of the Flaxman Library were lucky to receive a tour of the full exhibit by Tichy this week. These photos attempt convey some of what the slides convey, along with a few images of the slide library that they were once a part of.
aroundcenter will be at the Chicago Cultural Center from February 1 to April 27. You can find more information about the exhibit at http://aroundcenter.org/