Direct Message: Art, Language, and Power

Direct Message: Art, Language, and Power looks at the ways artists since the 1960s have used words to challenge our ideas about all of the messages we read, write, hear, and speak daily.

The exhibition has four sections of works that redefine how we understand communication: “Remove” explores what is communicated when words disappear; “Review” looks at the transformation of historic materials and how looking back can point us forward; “Reframe” focuses on advertising and what it reveals about the public space; and “Recode” shows how rearranging language and its symbols can uncover hidden truths. Highlights of Direct Message: Art, Language, and Power include Jenny Holzer’s immersive installation For Chicago that fills the gallery with common phrases rendered in LED lights in her signature style, as well as Stan Douglas’s Evening, in which the artist pulls clips from archival news footage and hires actors to play newscasters to recreate the events of two days in 1969 and 1970. With artists that remix conventional modes of communication, Direct Message: Art, Language, and Power challenges our standards of language and, by extension, their power.

Direct Message: Art, Language, and Power

  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday 10:00AM – 9:00PM
  • Wednesday 10:00AM – 5:00PM
  • Thursday 10:00AM – 5:00PM
  • Friday 10:00AM – 9:00PM
  • Saturday 10:00AM – 5:00PM
  • Sunday 10:00AM – 5:00PM

Labor Day, New Year's Eve, Thanksgiving Eve, Christmas Eve 10am to 5pm.

More in


We have more things to offer.


The Magnificent Mile is in the heart of Chicago's famous fining scene and offers visitors a delectable spread of places to dine.



We welcome you to think of the hotels along The Magnificent Mile as your home away from home.

Plan your stay

Things to do

The Magnificent Mile is packed with things to do and see, including Chicago’s best attractions and more than 50 historic landmarks.


Don’t miss out
ON Magnificent updates

Sign up for our magnificent updates. A round up of fun events, exclusive deals and happenings along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. Never miss a magnificent moment.