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The 10 Best Art Shows This Month

In order of most anticipated.

‘Decals Roam to Move’ by Jessica Stockholder
Stockholder’s Decals Roam to Move, 2015
Photo: Courtesy of Kavi Gupta Gallery

1 Door Hinges

Jessica Stockholder
Kavi Gupta Gallery, 219 N. Elizabeth St.
Vibe: Geometry with flair

A fan of bright, ebullient tones, multimedia artist Stockholder specializes in art that will make you happy. The University of Chicago faculty member is best known for her 2012 installation Color Jam, in which she turned the Loop into a playground of bold hues by painting the streets, sidewalks, and building façades with massive triangles of red, blue, and green. She continues the theme this fall with her first solo show with Kavi Gupta. September 12 to January 16. kavigupta.com

 

‘Junebug’ by Nathaniel Mary Quinn
Quinn’s Junebug, 2015
Photo: Argenis Apolinario

2 Back and Forth

Nathaniel Mary Quinn
Rhona Hoffman Gallery, 118 N. Peoria St.
Vibe: Francis Bacon by way of 1980s black America

Drawing from his personal narrative of a troubled childhood spent in Chicago’s Robert Taylor Homes, the Brooklyn artist creates large-scale, spellbinding portraits that are like a map of his nightmares. Once seen, their haunting sadness is hard to shake. September 11 to October 24. rhoffmangallery.com

 

‘Coronacion y Masacre de la Reina de Madagascar’ by Rafael Ferrer
Ferrer’s Coronacion y Masacre de la Reina de Madagascar, 1982
Photo: Nathan Keay/MCA Chicago

3 MCA DNA

Rafael Ferrer
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 220 E. Chicago Ave.
Vibe: Multimedia cacophony of colors

Maps, flags, and a cycle of paintings based on Gabriel García Márquez’s novel One Hundred Years of Solitude are just a few components in this sweeping exhibition of works by Puerto Rican–born surrealist painter Ferrer. September 19 to March 6. mcachicago.org

 

‘Of Wood and Other Bodies Petrified (Unit I)’ by Alex Chitty
Chitty’s Of Wood and Other Bodies Petrified (Unit I), 2013
Photo: Joe Rynkiewicz/Courtesy of artist and Patron

4 Theory of Forms

Alex Chitty, Matthew Metzger, and others
Patron Gallery, 673 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Vibe: An ancient ideal with a modern twist

Former Kavi Gupta Gallery directors Emanuel Aguilar and Julia Fischbach launch their own space—lots of drama here—with a group show focused on the Platonic ideal. Featured work by rising local talent includes multimedia artist Chitty and painter Metzger. September 18 to December 19. patrongallery.com

 

Adjaye’s Moscow School of Management, Skolkovo, Russia
Adjaye’s Moscow School of Management,
Skolkovo, Russia, 2010
Photo: Ed Reeve/Courtesy of Adjaye Associates

5 Making Place

David Adjaye
Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave.
Vibe: Afropolitan architecture

Get to know the international starchitect—a frontrunner for the Obama Library—in this sprawling exhibit of furniture, photographs, master plans, and more, all of which emphasize Adjaye’s mutable style. September 19 to January 3. artic.edu

 

‘Carousel (‘of thought tormented music’)’ by Mimi Lauter
Lauter’s Carousel (‘of thought tormented music’), 2015
Photo: Robert Wedemeyer/Courtesy of the artist

6 Mimi Lauter

Mimi Lauter
Shane Campbell Gallery, 2021 S. Wabash Ave.
Vibe: Gauguin gone wild

Certain types of abstract art can leave viewers cold, but Lauter’s pieces have a warming effect. Inspired by cave art, the Los Angeles artist builds layers of paint and then scratches them away, creating mesmerizing works that evoke natural rock formations. September 5 to October 3. shanecampbellgallery.com

 

‘Argonne #1’ by Jeremy Bolen
Bolen’s Argonne #1, 2015
Photo: Courtesy of the artist

7 Sensors for the Unsound

Jeremy Bolen
Andrew Rafacz Gallery, 835 W. Washington Blvd.
Vibe: Ansel Adams at a science fair

Chicago photographer Bolen approaches his work like a researcher in the field. His focus? Documenting invisible phenomena. For example, to detect radioactive energy still emanating from military testing zones, he buried film to see how it would react. For this show, he investigates the notorious Radium Dial plant in Ottawa, Illinois, where female factory workers contracted radium poisoning from luminous paint. September 12 to October 31. andrewrafacz.com

 

Still from Chelsea Knight’s ‘Fall to Earth’
Still from Knight’s Fall to Earth, 2015
Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Aspect/Ratio

8 Fall to Earth

Chelsea Knight
Aspect/Ratio Gallery, 119 N. Peoria St.
Vibe: Magical realism with a message

As part of a residency this year at the New Museum in New York City, video-art luminary Knight created a cycle of short videos interpreting Salman Rushdie’s 1988 virtuosic (and death-warrant-triggering) novel The Satanic Verses, a work considered blasphemous in the Muslim world. The cycle is staged as a series of live events exploring groupthink, censorship, fundamentalism, and the limitations of language. September 12 to October 10. aspectratioprojects.com

 

Frid’s The Sirens, 2012–2013
Photo: Tom Vaneynde

9 Textile Exhibition

Dianna Frid and Cecilia Vicuña
Poetry Foundation, 61 W. Superior St.
Vibe: Weavings meet mythology

By far the most dazzling showcase of textiles this fall, the exhibit pairs poet and artist Vicuña’s feminist pieces with Dianna Frid’s narrative weavings, one of which is a mesmerizing interpretation of Homer’s epic poetry from The Odyssey. September 4 to November 30. poetryfoundation.‌org

 

‘Black & White II’ by Judith Geichman
Geichman’s Black & White II,
2015 Photo: Tom Vaneynde/Courtesy of Regards

10 Solitaire

Judith Geichman
Regards gallery, 2216 W. Chicago Ave.
Vibe: Midcentury-inspired abstract expressionism

Geichman’s paintings are a lesson in bold-hued experimentation. Her frenzied process, involving everything from pouring and staining to peeling, results in stunning layered color combinations. September 12 to October 24. regardsgallery.com

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