Meg Duguid and the Zhou Brothers - "Where the Future Came From" and "Flying Paintings" - Virtual Event

Friday, October 16, 2020 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Meg Duguid and the Zhou Brothers

Meg Duguid and the Zhou Brothers will discuss Where the Future Came From: A Collective Research Project on the Role of Feminism in Chicago's Artist-Run Culture from the Late-Nineteenth Century and Flying Paintings: The Zhou Brothers: A Story of Revolution and Art. They will be joined in conversation by Allison Peters Quinn.

Presented in partnership with Chicago Humanities Festival

Virtual event


About the books: Chicago is distinctive as a longstanding hub for artist-run culture.  Where the Future Came From expands upon previous research into this realm by  focusing on the work of women and women-identified makers and their collective efforts from 1880 to the present. Integral contributors to the city’s thriving art scene throughout its history, these artists have long defined how we create and organize collaborative work. This book documents a 2018-2019 participatory exhibition and related programming at Columbia College Chicago’s Glass Curtain Gallery that addresses this history. In addition to a chronology of nearly fifty artist-run spaces and projects spanning over one hundred forty years, essays and transcripts by and between over thirty artists, organizers, curators, and historians offer personal as well as scholarly accounts of feminist cultural work, much of which has not been chronicled before. Where the Future Came From reveals a dynamic continuum of practices in Chicago’s art scene, shaping a critical conversation that places organizing by women and women-identified makers at the core of the art world in Chicago and beyond.

Amid the turbulence of China’s Cultural Revolution in the 1970s, the Zhou Brothers began painting together on the same canvas. Today, ShanZuo and DaHuang Zhou are icons in the art world, renowned for working side by side on all their paintings and sculptures. In Flying Paintings: The Zhou Brothers: A Story of Revolution and Art, author Amy Alznauer joins with the Zhou Brothers to tell the story of their unique and often difficult childhood and their pursuit of a wild, impossible dream. The lyrical writing blends elements of legend, while the brothers’ dramatic illustrations soar with vibrant colors and surreal imagery from ancient Chinese cliff paintings. An inspiration for young artists and dreamers of all kinds, this deeply felt collaboration explores how art can bring people together, as well as set them free.

About the authors: Meg Duguid is an artist and an artist administrator. She is currently the director of exhibitions for Columbia College Chicago’s Department of Exhibitions and Performing and Student Spaces.  Previously she was the director of the Averill and Bernard Leviton Gallery where she was responsible for the programs, Woodworks, Chicago Interiors, and As the Story Opens. . . . As the current director of exhibitions she has curated Si, Se Puede. This exhibition, funded by the Joyce Foundation, served to connect contemporary art practice to the legacies of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez and their work with the UFW. Duguid, along with her partner Michael Thomas, is working to develop into a comprehensive and searchable cultural archive of artist-run projects and actions. Her interest in Chicago’s artist-run scene has developed since she came to Chicago in 1995. Since that time she has been a maker, a viewer, and an administrator associated with many of Chicago's artist-run spaces. Duguid received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA from Bard College.

The Zhou Brothers, ShanZuo and DaHuang, are amongst the most important and accomplished contemporary artists in the world today. Renowned for their unique collaborative work process which has spanned over 40 years, they work together on their paintings, performances and sculptures. The Zhou Brothers come from the autonomous Chinese region of GuangXi and studied art in Shanghai and Beijing. They became the most famous young painters of their generation and mainland China in the 1980s. In 1985 they were honored as the first contemporary artist ever to show their work in an exhibition that traveled to the five largest museums in China. In 1986 the Zhou Brothers moved to the United States. In 2000 they performed during the opening ceremony of the world economic forum in Davos, Switzerland. In 2004, The Zhou Brothers founded the Zhou B Art Center with the dream of providing a platform and creative freedom for international artists. In 2011 President Barack Obama commissioned the Zhou Brothers to create the painting “Eight U.S. Presidents and the Great Wall”. With their unceasing contributions to the Chicago art community, in 2014, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn issued a proclamation declaring October 16, 2014 as Zhou Brothers day in Illinois and in 2015 Mayor Rahm Emanuel dedicated 35th street as Honorary Zhou Brothers Way. The Zhou Brothers have illustrated a new picture book biography about their life called Flying Paintings, The Zhou Brothers, A Story of Revolution and Art, written by Amy Alznauer, and published this fall by Candlewick Press.Photo credit: Erin McClellan.

About the interlocutor: Allison Peters Quinn is a curator and writer based in Chicago, where she has been Director of Exhibitions at Hyde Park Art Center since 2004. Her work focuses on projects that address intersections between art, architecture, and civically-minded practices. She has organized significant exhibitions for emerging and established contemporary artists. Her essays have appeared in the art anthologies Service Media: Is it Public Art or Art in Public Space (2013), and The Artists Run Chicago Digest (2009) in addition to artists’ monographic publications on Cándida Alvarez, Susan Giles, Jefferson Pinder, and others. Quinn has served as juror for national art organizations including the Artadia Award and Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, among others. She has taught at the School of the Art Institute and the University of Chicago Graham School.

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