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The City’s New Art Hub Is on Chicago Avenue

Four galleries are moving to this West Town stretch, which now boasts serious cultural cachet.

Ted Stanuga painting
Photo: Nathaniel Smith

Matthew Rachman Gallery

1659 W. Chicago Ave., matthewrachmangallery.com
“I’ve had people in the design industry come in and say, ‘You can’t do this; there are rules,’ ” says Matthew Rachman, who opened his gallery, which mixes 1960s modernist furniture and local contemporary art, after retiring from a 25-year career in finance. “I strive for the unconventional.”
GO:On January 7, Rachman opens a new exhibit that includes pieces by abstract painter Ted Stanuga (see example above).

 

Thaddeus Wolfe sculpture
Photo: Courtesy of the artist and the gallery
Neighborhood Newcomer

Volume Gallery

1709 W. Chicago Ave., wvvolumes.com
This experimental gallery, formerly in the West Loop, blurs the line between art and function, tapping avant-garde American designers who favor whimsy over pragmatism.
GO:Wunderkammer, a cabinet of design curiosities that includes a sculpture by Thaddeus Wolfe (see above), opens January 7.

 

Deb Sokolow drawing
Photo: James Prinz

The Mission

1431 W. Chicago Ave., themissionprojects.com
After six years in West Town, the Latin American–focused gallery has become a cornerstone of the community, dedicating shows to both local and international talent, like Argentine sculptor Gustavo Díaz and Peruvian painter Michelle Prazak.
GO:Abstract painter Peter Skvara curates History is Boring, a group show opening January 13 that includes a drawing by artist Deb Sokolow (see example above).

 

Art by Laura Letinsky and John Paul Morabito
Photo: Courtesy of the artist and the gallery
Neighborhood Newcomer

Document

1709 W. Chicago Ave., documentspace.com
Don’t expect classic portraits at this West Loop transplant. Founder Aron Gent favors nontraditional photographers like Laura Letinsky, whose new work with fiber artist John Paul Morabito translates her abstract images into gorgeous dyed-wool weavings (see example above).
GO:Telephone Game, featuring work by Letinsky and Morabito, opens January 7.

 

Melina Ausikaitis sculpture
Photo: Courtesy of the artist and the gallery

Regards

2216 W. Chicago Ave., regardsgallery.com
Consider this storefront space synonymous with Chicago conceptual artists. “The most challenging work has put us on the map,” says owner Natalie Popovic Schuh, who garnered attention at the art fair Frieze last summer by exhibiting artist Nick Bastis’s sculptures covered in live snails.
GO:Melina Ausikaitis opens a solo show of sculptures (see example above), videos, and music on February 25.

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