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No Expo, No Problem

The annual art behemoth may be shelved, but September brings plenty of smaller shows, from an exhibit by a soon-to-be-famous painter to a one-stop roundup of the city’s DIY scene.

Sept. 1–Nov. 1

Artists Run Chicago 2.0

Hyde Park Art Center, Kenwood

What you’ll see Works presented by 52 artist-run projects, from galleries to nonprofits, that reflect the philosophies of Chicago’s independent arts community
Why you should see it If you’re unfamiliar with the local DIY scene, which runs more on collective energy than sales, this is a rare opportunity to get to know its key players in one place.
DIY FYI These projects — exhibited across the city, from Beverly to Rogers Park — typically take place in quirky spaces like storefronts, garages, and, in one case, the bathroom of a larger gallery.
Tour virtually? Yes, hydeparkart.org
Cost Free

Sept. 5–Jan. 18

Monet and Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago, Loop

Why this Monet exhibit? The Art Institute owns the largest collection of Monets outside of Paris — 33 paintings and 13 drawings — and is
supplementing those with works from local private collections, many of which have rarely been shown.
Look for Five Figures in a Field, an 1888 portrait of Monet’s family in Giverny that hasn’t been exhibited since 1995
Tour virtually? No
Cost $25

Postcard from ‘Art in the Post’
Postcard from Art in the Post Photo: Courtesy of Elmhurst Art Museum
Sept. 10–Nov. 22

Art in the Post

Elmhurst Art Museum

What is it? The west suburban museum issued an open call to Chicago-area residents to send in postcards sharing an experience of life at home during COVID-19, and this exhibit features more than 100 of the submissions.
What you’ll see Dynamic and scaled-down photos and illustrations, in addition to scribblings and doodles from children
Why you should see it From messages of hope to diary-like notes (“I’ve been drawing a lot of dinosaurs. And playing on my swing set,” one reads), these anonymous works of mail art might make you feel a little less lonely.
Tour virtually? Yes, elmhurstartmuseum.org
Cost $15 (free online)

Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, designed by Balkrishna Doshi
Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, designed by Balkrishna Doshi Photo: Vinay Panjwani
Sept. 9–Dec. 12

Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People

Wrightwood 659, Lincoln Park

Who’s that? A 92-year-old Indian architect and urbanist who helped redefine modern architecture in South Asia with his sculptural buildings constructed to exist harmoniously with nature
What you’ll see Models, full-scale replicas, and photographs of Doshi-designed interiors, building exteriors, and even whole towns and cities
Bonus beats Doshi’s grandson composed four soundtracks that visitors hear while walking through the installations, each one inspired by a building or location.
Tour virtually? Yes, wrightwood659.org
Cost $15 (free online)

Deborah Kass’s ‘Everybody’
Deborah Kass’s Everybody Photo: Courtesy of Deborah Kass and Kavi Gupta
Sept. 9–Dec. 26

Deborah Kass

Kavi Gupta, West Loop

Who’s that? A veteran artist-activist whose pop-culture-inspired works critique power imbalances in contemporary America
What you’ll see A new series of neon paintings Kass made during lockdown that display words like “emergency” and “everybody” in all caps
Why does this look familiar? One bright yellow sculpture on view that reads “Oy” from one side and “Yo” from the other is a scaled-down version of an iconic Kass sculpture outside the Brooklyn Museum.
Tour virtually? Yes, kavigupta.com
Cost Free

Amoako Boafo’s ‘Green Beret’
Amoako Boafo’s Green Beret Photo: Courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim
Sept. 10–Oct. 24

Amoako Boafo: I Stand By Me

Mariane Ibrahim, West Loop

Who’s that? A Ghanaian painter whose career has accelerated over the past two years. His auction debut at Phillips in February yielded 10 times its high estimate.
What you’ll see Large-scale, commanding portraits of Black acquaintances from the artist’s social circles; none of the artworks have ever before been publicly exhibited.
Tour virtually? Yes, marianeibrahim.com
Cost Free

Sept. 11–Oct. 31

Elijah Burgher: Until the Beasts and All the Mountain Are Wild with Divinity

Western Exhibitions, West Town

Who’s that? A Berlin-based artist and School of the Art Institute of Chicago grad known for drawings of occult sigils informed by queer aesthetics
What you’ll see Vibrant, trippy photographs documenting a mysterious group ceremony, altered with paint, bleach, ink, and other liquids
Odd inspiration The Gnostic mass, a ritual that calls for the serving of a sacramental bread made with sexual fluids. (In Burgher’s version, he dished out cookies with menstrual blood.)
Tour virtually? Yes, westernexhibitions.com
Cost Free

Yae Jee Min’s Oil Slick Pool
Yae Jee Min’s Oil Slick Pool Photo: Yae Jee Min
Sept. 12–Oct. 11

Yae Jee Min: Sweet Rain that Fell: Through a Kaleidoscope

Julius Caesar, East Garfield Park

Who’s that? A recent School of the Art Institute grad who infuses her paintings and drawings with childlike whimsy and a strong current of ’90s nostalgia
What you’ll see Abstract ink paintings embellished with sequins, translucent fabrics, and painted butterflies
What to bring Your smartphone. Min collaborated with artist Ricardo Partida, who is having a concurrent show at the gallery, on a free Instagram filter that lets you surround your face with virtual versions of their works.
Tour virtually? Yes, juliuscaesarchicago.net
Cost Free

Dominique Knowles’s ‘Sun Cave’
Dominique Knowles’s Sun Cave Photo: Roland Miller
Sept. 12–Oct. 17

Dominique Knowles: The Solemn and Dignified Burial Befitting My Beloved for All Seasons

Goldfinch, East Garfield Park

Who’s that? A fast-rising 24-year-old local painter, with recent exhibitions at prestigious galleries such as West Town’s Andrew Rafacz and Milwaukee’s Green Gallery
What you’ll see Sublime paintings of horses rendered in warm colors, each one an homage to Knowles’s lifelong bond with equines. The show takes its title from a chapter of a book written by the artist’s grandfather, who started taking him to a horse farm when he was just 4 years old.
Tour virtually? Yes, goldfinch-gallery.com
Cost Free

Aliza Nisenbaum’s ‘Kayhan Reading the New York Times (Resistance Begins at Home)’ from the exhibit ‘Nine Lives’
Aliza Nisenbaum’s Kayhan Reading the New York Times (Resistance Begins at Home) from the exhibit Nine Lives Photo: Courtesy of Aliza Nisenbaum and Anton Kern Gallery, New York
Sept. 12–Nov. 15

Nine Lives

Renaissance Society, University of Chicago, Hyde Park

What is it? An exhibit that’s more like a short-story collection, with various artists contributing works, from paintings to video, focused on both real and imagined characters
Local news Many of the participants, from Brazilian video artist Tamar Guimaraes to Scottish filmmaker Charlotte Prodger, are showing here for the first time.
Look for Intricate drawings of Black life by Toyin Ojih Odutola, each resulting from remarkable blends of pastel, charcoal, and ballpoint pen
Tour virtually? No
Cost Free

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