Jesus of Western Avenue will feature more than 30 recent works by world-renowned multimedia artist and celebrated Chicago resident Tony Fitzpatrick. With work in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, The Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, Fitzpatrick has also created album art for music icons including Lou Reed, Steve Earle and The Neville Brothers. Fitzpatrick is best known for his multimedia collages, printmaking, paintings and drawings. The exhibition will run from Saturday, Oct. 3 to Sunday, Dec. 6 and will be free and open to the public.
Coinciding with the release of Fitzpatrick’s book, Jesus of Western Avenue, the exhibition will feature prints, drawings and collages. These graphically rich and inventive works deliver messages and stories that reflect on the artist’s connection to Chicago, his social and political concerns and our shared changing reality. “While Tony’s artwork is deeply influenced by the Chicagoland area it is recognized around the world,” said Cleve Carney Museum of Art Curator Justin Witte. “Tony is one of the most well-known artists working in Chicago today and we are thrilled to be able to open our new space with an exhibition of his work.”
“We couldn’t think of a better artist than Tony to celebrate the opening of the new museum in an arts center,” said McAninch Arts Center Director Diana Martinez. “He is an actor, a writer, an alum of the College of DuPage, a world-renowned artist and was a close friend of the late Cleve Carney who is CCMA’s namesake, there is no one more fitting. We are honored to welcome him home for our inaugural exhibition.”
“It’s fitting that I have my final museum exhibition not far from where my work started. It’s fitting that it happens in a museum named for my dear friend and supporter Cleve Carney; he was a grand guy; whom I met while caddying for his father Marv Carney,” said artist Tony Fitzpatrick. “I chose to make art, not for a living, but for a life. Cleve chose to create opportunity and possibility for artists – myself being one of them. So much of my creative life began at the College of DuPage. I did my first acting here. I started to seriously write poetry here. I made artmaking my life here. This place has grown amazingly since I left. Mostly because of the great Hal MacAninch, another grand presence who led by example, and with great integrity. My fondest hope for my final museum show is that it honors these men. My city. And all who have passed through these doors.”
CCMA and MAC plan to implement timed entry and design social distancing measures into the layout of the museum in accordance with CDC regulations. Visitors will also be required to reserve tickets online in advance, in order for them to view the exhibition in the safest way possible.
A schedule of opening events celebrating the inauguration of the museum will be announced at a later date.
Image above: Tony Fitzpatrick, “The Scavenger Looking for Jesus of Western Ave.” Color etching courtesy of the artist.