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The best things to do in Chicago this month,
selected by our culture criticsMay 2016

Art and Design
Galleries

'Chimera' by Marshall Brown
Chimera by Marshall Brown Photo: © Western Exhibition

BERT GREEN FINE ART

5/14–6/25 Illustrator Barron Storey has drawn cover art for Time and National Geographic, but his gallery work is made in the tradition of graphic novels—think abstract narratives and broad brushstrokes—as if art materials could take on the superpowers of a radioactive villain. 8 S. Michigan. bertgreenfineart.com

 

CATHERINE EDELMAN GALLERY

5/6–7/1 Heroes. Photographer Francesco Pergolesi portrays everyday people as “heroes” in a new series of portraits, placing laborers and small merchants alone in the context of their work (for example, a fruit shop or gas station). Dramatically lit as if on theater sets, common folks transform into kings and queens. 300 W. Superior. edelmangallery.com

CORBETT VS. DEMPSEY

Through 5/28 Robert Lostutter. The Chicago imagist continues to grow his portrait series of birdmen, their feathered facial features rendered in exquisite detail and color. 1120 N. Ashland. corbettvsdempsey.com

 

DEVENING PROJECTS + EDITIONS

Through 5/17 Christine Tarkowski’s new drizzled and poured black glass sculptures seem to pause the material in its molten state. 3039 W. Carroll. deveningprojects.com

DOCUMENT

Through 5/7 Substitution Play. Sterling Lawrence makes what you might call conceptual furniture from inkjet fabric sheets, prosthetic plastic, piping, and other detritus. 845 W. Washington. documentspace.com

ED PASCHKE ARTS CENTER

5/2–6/13 Life Reflected. Hyperrealist Jeanette Pasin Sloan masters the art of painting reflective surfaces, such as silver goblets and chrome barware—a near-impossible technical feat. 5415 W. Higgins. edpaschkeartcenter.org

FIRECAT PROJECTS

Through 5/21 Pinned: Icons of Beauty and Brawn. Nicole Hayden glorifies 1980s icons from TV wrestlers to Barbra Streisand by placing them against gold-leafed and patterned backgrounds. 2124 N. Damen. firecatprojects.org

GALLERY 400

Through 6/11 Our Duty to Fight. Black Lives Matter Chicago organized this exhibition of art created by its participants for social media campaigns and protests. The pieces reinforce the important role the visual arts play in civil rights activism. 400 S. Peoria. gallery400.uic.edu

KRUGER GALLERY

Through 5/14 Zohra Opoku. For her first solo show in the United States, the Ghanian photographer presents portraits that explore the social fabric of African life, using traditional textiles displayed over people’s heads in various landscapes. 3709 N. Southport. krugergallerychicago.com

THE MISSION PROJECTS

5/6–6/25 Mudroom. Austen Brown continues artistic research into North Dakota’s Bakken Formation and its village of 40,000 miners. Brown displays video, audio, and sculptural artifacts of the mining infrastructure to reveal the values at stake in domestic oil extraction. 1431 W. Chicago. themissionprojects.com

MONIQUE MELOCHE GALLERY

Through 5/28 Chicago Gingham. Painter and curator Michelle Grabner has made an indoor mural for the Wicker Park gallery’s large storefront window. 2154 W. Division. moniquemeloche.com

RHONA HOFFMAN GALLERY

5/19–7/8 The Flesh Is Yours, the Bones Are Ours. One hundred years ago, more than a million Armenians perished in a genocide in the former Ottoman Empire, now Turkey. To address ethnic persecution in that region, local artist Michael Rakowitz builds sculptures out of dog bones, mimicking the architectural decorations of an Armenian artisan and his Turkish apprentice. 118 N. Peoria. rhoffmangallery.com

ROOTS & CULTURE

5/20–6/18 Hand of Mouth. This exhibit pairs Chicago painters Ron Ewert and Erin Washington for their shared approach to image-making and presents disparate cultural emblems, such as bodybuilders and ouroboros, as future ruins. 1034 N. Milwaukee. rootsandculturecac.org

SCHNEIDER GALLERY

Through 5/31 Let Virtue Be Your Guide. Frances F. Denny explores what it means to be a woman by photographing her female family members in domestic settings. 770 N. LaSalle. schneidergallerychicago.com

SHANE CAMPBELL GALLERY

Through 7/11 Anthony Pearson. The Los Angeles-based sculptor produces minimalist abstractions using highly refined materials such as bronze and silver. In the formalist tradition, Pearson clearly adores his materials, caressing delicate linework out of black plaster and using textures intended to tickle the mind. 2021 S. Wabash. shanecampbellgallery.com

SOUTH SIDE COMMUNITY ART CENTER

Through 7/2 SAIC 150th/SSCAC 75th Joint Anniversary Exhibition. A group exhibit featuring Archibald Motley, Margaret Burroughs, Eldzier Cortor, AfriCOBRA, and others highlights two renowned local educators of black artists. Installed are works focusing on civil rights, the Black Power movement, and black art history. 3831 S. Michigan. sscartcenter.org

VERTICAL

5/7–28 Collin van der Sluijs. The Dutch painter disrupts portraiture conventions by depicting facial features as shape-shifting constellations and humorous symbols. Because whose face hasn’t felt like a leaky pipe or a splash of red watercolor once or twice? 1016 N. Western. verticalgallery.com

 

WESTERN EXHIBITIONS

5/14–6/25 Marshall Brown. The Chicago-based architect heading the Navy Pier redevelopment makes collages in which he cuts up and remixes Chicago buildings to create urban sculptures. 845 W. Washington. westernexhibitions.com

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