Andrea Bowers
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
20 November 2021 - 27 March 2022

For over thirty years, multidisciplinary visual artist Andrea Bowers (American, b. 1965) has made art that activates. Bowers works in a variety of mediums, from video to colored pencil to installation art, and speaks directly to pressing national issues. Her work combines an artistic practice with activism and advocacy, giving voice to stories rarely seen or heard.

Born in Wilmington, Ohio, Bowers received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 1992 and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. She built an international reputation as a chronicler of contemporary history, documenting activism as it unfolds and collecting research on the frontlines of protest. Her subject matter contends with issues like immigration, workers’ rights, environmentalism, and women’s rights, presented in a range of media. Her empathetic and labor-intensive practice draws attention to the humanity impacted by injustice—shifting the conversation from politics to people.

This is the first museum retrospective surveying over two decades of Bowers’s practice. Highlights of the exhibition include Courtroom Drawings (Steubenville Rape Case, Text Messages Entered As Evidence, 2013), (2014) and My Name Means Future, (2020). These two works speak to the range of issues in Bowers’s work, the former emerged from her work as an embedded observer in a landmark sexual assault case; the latter from her involvement in activism around the Dakota Access Pipeline project.

Andrea Bowers is co-organized by Michael Darling, MCA James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator and Connie Butler, The Hammer Museum Chief Curator. It is presented in the Griffin Galleries of Contemporary Art on the museum’s fourth floor.


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andrea bowers