Temporary Projects & Commissions

Art in dialogue.

Through enriching collaborations with partners at the University of Chicago and beyond, the Smart Museum of Art organizes temporary public art installations and fosters new forms of engagement through campus-wide commissions.

Two people stroll across a low s-shaped platform sculpture

Featured project

Jessica Stockholder: For Events

Featuring PLATFORM
a series of programs
April 1–May 5, 2024

Hutchinson Courtyard, The University of Chicago, 1131 E. 57th Street

This exhibition honors artist Jessica Stockholder (b. 1959) on the occasion of her retirement from the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago. The installation is anchored by a single sculpture, For Events (2015), which encapsulates the artist’s decades-long consideration of how objects encounter one another: how they support themselves and are in turn supported.

Past Projects

The University of Chicago is home to ambitious public art installations and ephemeral projects that are distinguished by their high quality, site-specificity, and responsiveness to contemporary issues and events.

The following projects were presented between 2016 and 2023.

A small cloud disk floats in front of a brutalist building


Spring 2023

A rosy sunrise over choppy water of Lake Michigan

100 Views of Lake Michigan

Fall 2021–Spring 2022

“Untitled” (L.A.)

“Untitled” (L.A.)

September 2022–December 2023



September 27–December 8, 2021

Jenny Holzer: YOU BE MY ALLY

Jenny Holzer: YOU BE MY ALLY

October 5–December 4, 2020

The Chicago Sound Show<br />
September 27–December 29, 2019

The Chicago Sound Show
September 27–December 29, 2019

aeon<br />
Ann Hamilton

September 18–October 31, 2019

Play on Surfaces & Surfing<br />
New sculpture by Jessica Stockholder

Play on Surfaces & Surfing
May 17–June 7, 2018

Dialogo: Virginio Ferrari and Chicago<br />
An Art Design Chicago public program, October – December 2018
Cai Guo-Qiang<br />
A pyrotechnic artwork presented as part of UChicago’s commemoration of first nuclear reaction

Cai Guo-Qiang
December 2, 2017

Nuclear Thresholds<br />
Ogrydziak Prillinger Architects (OPA)

Nuclear Thresholds
September 18, 2017–Spring 2018

Slipping and Jamming: Variable Installation of Z-Forms, 2015–2017<br />
Dan Peterman (b. 1960)

Slipping and Jamming
October 3–November 30, 2017

Nuclear Reactions<br />
Lectures, tours, exhibitions, and events observing the 75th anniversary of the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction at Chicago Pile-1, and the concurrent 50th anniversary of Henry Moore’s Nuclear Energy sculpture.

Nuclear Reactions
September–December 2017

Concrete Happenings<br />
September 2016–June 2017

Concrete Happenings
September 2016–June 2017

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