Photo: Courtesy of Bert Greene Fine Art
5/3–31 In two new video works, Chelsea Knight responds to hypermasculine texts by Harold Pinter with a feminist critique. When the work of feminist art seems to be mostly accomplished, Knight shows us there’s still much to build. 119 N Peoria. aspectratioprojects.com.
BERT GREEN FINE ART
5/11–6/29 Robb Stone paints with bleach on canvases made of silk satin. They’re fittingly caustic materials for the violent/erotic images that get burned in your brain: scenes of torture from news media, professional wrestling, and self-portraits from gay cruising websites. 8 S Michigan. bgfa.us.
BEVERLY ART CENTER
5/11–6/9 In a Perfect World. Four painters pick up where Henri Rousseau left off, reenvisioning nature as a pristine source of happiness, troubled by its inhabitants. Includes the work of Mary Porterfield, Elaine Miller, Sandy Dawson, and Dan Addington. 2407 W 111th. beverlyartcenter.org.
CARL HAMMER GALLERY
Through 5/11 Architectural fragments, such as staircase banisters, are combined with hand-carved wood and found branches in Aristotle Georgiades’ sculptural assemblages. 740 N Wells. hammergallery.com.
CHICAGO ARTISTS’ COALITION
5/10–30 Laura Davis creates sculptural arrangements that subtly subvert domestic and commercial displays of purchased fetish objects, mimicking the tchotchke collections in secondhand stores and middle-class living rooms. 217 N Carpenter. chicagoartistscoalition.org.
5/4–26 An assistant professor of art at Northwestern University, Kelly Kaczynski is a local innovator of conceptual, theatrical art. For her solo show, the artist plays with the idea of a limitless horizon, using greenscreen technology to mask and mirror whatever infinity looks like. 2579 N Milwaukee. comfortstationlogansquare.com.
CORBETT VS. DEMPSEY
Through 5/11 David Hartt: For Everyone a Garden. The photographer David Hartt has composed sculptures made of modular glass panels resembling skyscraper models and modernist interior design. A glossy catalog in the form of a magazine, accompanies the show. 1120 N Ashland. corbettvsdempsey.com.
5/3–6/15 I Think We’re Ready to Go to the Next Sequence: The Legacy of HALFLIFERS. To mark the release of a retrospective DVD compilation, the artistic duo of Torsten Zenas Burns and Anthony Discenza commission revivals of their works by local contemporary artists. 400 S Peoria. gallery400.uic.edu.
Through 6/1 Thomas Demand: Model Studies. The German artist, best known for making and photographing life-size construction paper dioramas, turns his camera toward the design models of the L.A. futurist architect John Lautner. 4 W Burton. grahamfoundation.org.
HAIRPIN ARTS CENTER
5/6–6/15 The Presence of Absence. This year the Contemporary Arts Council funds a show by Dave and Debra Tolchinsky with the theme of images that haunt their beholders. Includes work by Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Paola Cabal, and Laurie Palmer, among others. 2800 N Milwaukee. contemporaryartscouncil.org.
5/4–25 Elisa Harkins: Native American Fax Machine. The Native American–identified artist’s new paintings explore cultural signifiers that get malformed in translation—ideas that manifest as abstract faux-primitive artworks and trouble the notion of a collective creative psyche. 1254 N Noble. happycollaborationists.com.
HILTON ASMUS CONTEMPORARY
Through 5/24 Ani Afshar’s multicultural perspective informs the textiles that she weaves and beads. Now based in Chicago, the artist is gaining recognition for her unique take on the craft-based medium. 716 N Wells. hilton-asmus.com.
KAVI GUPTA GALLERY
Through 5/11 McArthur Binion breathes new life into the geometric abstraction genre with personal reflections on racial identity. Now in his late 60s, the artist is finally gaining public recognition within a black abstract art movement. 835 W Washington. kavigupta.com.
MONIQUE MELOCHE GALLERY
Through 6/8 In an ironic twist, Kate Levant’s exhibition of sculptures made of materials scavenged from a derelict Detroit building was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Her use of tattered cardboard and peeling paint now have an extra layer of resonance. 2154 W Division. moniquemeloche.com.
SHANE CAMPBELL GALLERY *Critic’s Pick
5/4–6/22 The Chicago-born Amanda Ross-Ho returns after a string of major successes—including the 2008 Whitney Biennial and a solo show at L.A.’s MOCA—with new objects that evince both a joy and a critique of handmade pieces. 673 N Milwaukee. shanecampbellgallery.com.
Through 5/24 Phyllis Bramson: Love and Affection in a Troubled World. Phyllis Bramson’s fantasies of lovemaking look familiar because they riff on tantric and rococo painting styles, but the absurd characters and situations are pure Bramson. Also: new work by Nick Ostoff and Mario Romano. 325 W Huron. zollaliebermangallery.com.