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The best things to do in Chicago this month,
selected by our culture criticsDecember 2015

Art and Design
Galleries

ANDREW RAFACZ GALLERY

Through 12/23 Dameseq. View metal sculptures inspired by the geometric window bars that conceptual artist Assaf Evron spotted in a Tel Aviv restaurant. 835 W. Washington. andrewrafacz.com

ARC GALLERY

Through 12/19 I Can’t Breathe. Eric Garner’s last words before dying from a Staten Island police officer’s chokehold in 2014 have become the rallying cry for the movement against police brutality. Guest curators Romi Crawford and Mary Patten adapt the phrase for a group exhibit about institutionalized racism in the United States. 2156 N. Damen. arcgallery.org

BERT GREEN FINE ART

Through 12/19 Mutual Dealings. Rafael E. Vera uses construction materials, such as two-by-fours and tarps, to create massive yet subtle geometric sculptures that examine the intricacies of home building and the need for shelter. 8 S. Michigan. bgfa.us

CARL HAMMER GALLERY

Through 12/23 Storyland. Fred Stonehouse’s freaky paintings depict an apocalyptic place populated by devils, beasts, and a cast of humans best left to the world inside the canvas. 740 N. Wells. carlhammergallery.com

CARRIE SECRIST GALLERY

Through 1/16 Mad Ladders. Media artist Michael Robinson adapts cinematography tools to create video collages, layering scenes from award shows and beauty pageants into spooky, dream-like sequences. 835 W. Washington. secristgallery.com

CATHERINE EDELMAN GALLERY

Through 1/2 Arno Rafael Minkkinen. The prolific Finnish photographer inserts nudes into dramatic natural terrain—they dangle off cliffs and emerge from snowpacks. 300 W. Superior. edelmangallery.com

DOUBLE FRAME GALLERY

12/11–1/23 Snow Yunxue Fu. The new-media artist premieres a sculptural installation titled Tunnel, which allows visitors to move through a constructed space while viewing videos through windows that look out on digitally created parkland. 2233 S. Throop. doubleframegallery.tumblr.com

ELASTIC ARTS

12/5–2/27 The Ship’s Carpenter. Sculptor Robert Burnier has quickly garnered critical attention for his innovative technique of welding real metal objects out of a virtual 3D-printing program and painting them in soft hues of gray. 3429 W. Diversey. elasticarts.org

GALERIE F

12/11–1/3 Dan Mumford. The London-based illustrator creates monochromatic scenes inspired by fantasy and science fiction, including the films Kill Bill and Mad Max. 2381 N. Milwaukee. galerief.com

HYDE PARK ART CENTER

Through 1/10 Creatures from the Concrete. Men dominate Chicago’s robust street-art scene. This group show, curated by Liz “Beloved” Lazdins, seeks to increase visibility for women-generated murals. 5020 S. Cornell. hydeparkart.org

Photo: Courtesy of Kavi Gupta Gallery

KAVI GUPTA GALLERY

Through 1/16 Door Hinges. Multimedia artist Jessica Stockholder specializes in art that will make you happy. She is best known for her 2012 installation Color Jam, in which she turned the Loop into a playground of bold hues.

Through 2/20 An Ornithology for Birds. The third solo show at the gallery by Berlin artist James Krone reveals the breadth of his experimentation, including acrylic faux fingernails sculpted into spirals, a series of bird paintings that devolve into fuzzy abstraction, and a new film about child prodigies.
835 W. Washington. kavigupta.com

LINDA WARREN PROJECTS

Through 1/16 Tom Van Eynde: Some of Everything, A Retrospective. Art insiders may know Van Eynde best as a documentarian—he has photographed nearly every exhibition in Chicago—but this show reveals him as an artist, too; since the 1970s, he has produced a rich series of portraits of subjects from snowmen to strippers. 327 N. Aberdeen. lindawarrenprojects.com

LVL3

Through 12/13 New Destruction. The gallery pairs works by Baltimore’s James Bouché and Brooklyn’s Jason Gringler; the minimalist artists share a love for unconventional materials and severe, often all-black compositions. 1542 N. Milwaukee. lvl3media.com

MANA CONTEMPORARY

Through 1/30 Richard Meier: Process and Vision. The world-renowned architect, who designed Rome’s Jubilee Church and the Getty Center in Los Angeles, famously revives classicism using contemporary materials, often in his signature shades of white. 2233 S. Throop. manacontemporarychicago.com

MONGERSON GALLERY

12/7–2/29 Amy Hutcheson describes her abstract paintings as puzzles. The Memphis artist’s layered, colorful compositions seem born of the futurist and cubist eras, when paintings evoked alternative dimensions of space and time. 875 N. Michigan. mongersongallery.com

MONIQUE MELOCHE GALLERY

Through 1/3 Sheree Hovsepian: Reveries of a Solitary Walker. The Iranian-born artist integrates photography with sculpture, using mainly photograms, or prints created on light-sensitive paper with no need for a camera. 2154 W. Division. moniquemeloche.com

PATRON

Through 12/19 Theory of Forms. The former directors of Kavi Gupta inaugurate their new gallery with a group show dedicated to the Platonic ideal. See works by Matthew Metzger, Alex Chitty, and other emerging artists. 673 N. Milwaukee. patrongallery.com

PRESIDENT’S GALLERY

12/2–2/12 I in the Sky. This exhibition demonstrates what it’s like to be inside the mind of notable emerging Chicago artist Edra Soto, whose commentaries on Puerto Rican culture in the United States have appeared at the MCA and in her own backyard exhibit venue, the Franklin. Harold Washington College, 30 E. Lake. faculty.ccc.edu/hwgallery

 

PRINTWORKS

12/4–2/13 Return of the Exquisite Corpse. To celebrate the gallery’s 35th anniversary, the founders have invited 105 artists to create 35 corpse drawings in the spirit of a great surrealist game, whereby a body’s head, torso, and feet are each drawn by a different person, creating artfully monstrous beings out of chance partnerships. 311 W. Superior. printworkschicago.com

RANGEFINDER

12/4–1/2 Lights in the City. A former neuroscientist, Satoki Nagata has an ongoing black-and-white series that captures people in urban spaces, dramatically backlit, often in the midst of a snow storm, creating the dazzling effect of time standing still. 300 W. Superior. tamarkin.com

REGARDS

Through 12/19 I Am, Etc. For Christopher Aque, the personal is political as he draws parallels between government spying and gay cruising. He returns to Chicago with new sculptures and photographs that attempt to map the dangerous erotica of public life. 2216 W. Chicago. regardsgallery.com

 

RHONA HOFFMAN GALLERY

Through 12/19 Jacob Hashimoto. The internationally known sculptor adapts traditional kite-making techniques, with rice paper and bamboo, unleashing hundreds of his abstract forms in the gallery, often to wondrous effect. 118 N. Peoria. rhoffmangallery.com

SHANE CAMPBELL GALLERY

Through 1/16 Alex Olson breathes new life into abstract painting, a medium often derided for being caught up in the past. Her colors and compositions offer previously unseen possibilities for paint. 2021 S. Wabash. shanecampbellgallery.com

THREEWALLS

Through 12/12 The Great Good Place. Brandon Alvendia’s solo show dramatizes the makeshift spaces that contain the city’s underground art scene, from an apartment art gallery to an illegal basement nightclub, re-creating these gathering spots as theatrical installations for viewer interaction. 119 N. Peoria. three-walls.org

UKRAINIAN INSTITUTE OF MODERN ART

12/4–1/31 Skimption. Defying traditional categories such as painting and sculpture “is the most exciting thing about being a contemporary artist,” says the exhibit’s curator, Robin Dluzen. She selected five artists who play in the ambiguous areas of masculine/feminine, abstract/figure, and mixed media: Luis Sahagun, Emily Hermant, Catherine Schwalbe, Diana Gabriel, and Rusty Shackleford. 2320 W. Chicago. uima-chicago.org

VERTICAL GALLERY

12/12–1/2 Going Postal. Simon W.G. Butler, a London artist, manipulates old postage stamps into clever, daring, and funny collages. 1016 N. Western. verticalgallery.com

WESTERN EXHIBITIONS

12/11–1/22 Nicholas Frank. Fact is fiction and vice-versa for the Milwaukee artist, writer, and curator, whose work tends to blur those lines. He alters official-looking documents and printed matter to give a sheen of importance to an otherwise quotidian life. 845 W. Washington. westernexhibitions.com

ZHOU B ART CENTER

Through 12/12 Flayed. What happens when you give three artists the same size canvas and only four paint colors (red, yellow, black, and white)? Eric J. Garcia, Salvador Jiménez-Flores, and Gabriel Villa collaborate to produce 20 giant new artworks, each the size of a mural. 1029 W. 35th. zhoubartcenter.com

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