The 18 Best Shows in Chicago Art Galleries

This February, the city’s finest fine art is on display at The Arcade, 2nd Floor Rear, Gage Gallery, and more.

Untitled (wire mass), by David Sieren of The Post Family, 2012, on view at Discarded: The Afterlife of Everyday Electronics, an exhibit at The Arcade open now through March 7.   Photo: Courtesy of Arcade Gallery

A&D Gallery

Through 2/22 Strange Bedfellows. Artistic partnerships form the core of this group exhibition’s premise: The more people you collaborate with, the more creative and intellectual freedom you gain. 619 S Wabash. colum.edu/adgallery

Alderman Exhibitions

Through 2/16 Inside the Outside. A handful of artists make unnatural objects: fishing lures, a pine-tree air freshener, and zinc logs. Assembled, these pieces reflect America’s strange relationship with nature. 1138 W Randolph. aldermanexhibitions.com

Arcade Gallery

Through 3/7 Discarded: The Afterlife of Everyday Electronics. This group exhibition examines the cultural and material ramifications of America’s insatiable desire for the latest technological products. 618 S Michigan. colum.edu/deps

Center for Book and Paper Arts

2/10–4/5 Social Paper considers how artists have used handmade paper as a political tool. 1104 S Wabash. colum.edu/Academics/Interarts/book-and-paper

Comfort Station

2/1–14 Partitions: New Work by Nora Nieves and Liz McCarthy. Fresh from their summer residency at High Concept Labs, photographer Liz McCarthy and painter Nora Maité Nieves display new work on the topic of how people inhabit their environments. 2579 N Milwaukee. comfortstationlogansquare.org

Corbett vs. Dempsey

2/7–3/15 Molly Zuckerman-Hartung: Violet Fogs Azure Snot. Rising local art star Zuckerman-Hartung brings renewed energy to the genre of abstract painting with a rebellious and an intelligent approach. 1120 N Ashland. corbettvsdempsey.com

Document

Through 3/8 Victoria Fu. San Diego–based filmmaker and photographer Victoria Fu has her first solo exhibition in Chicago, just a month before her work heads to the Whitney Biennial in New York. The artist has emerged amid critical acclaim for her colorful, abstract photography and her enigmatic short videos. For this show, she exhibits a new video installation. 845 W Washington. documentspace.org

Firecat Projects

Through 2/22 Tom Burtonwood and Holly Holmes lead the local artistic revolution in 3D printing with a 3D-printed book and other sculptural anomalies. 2124 N Damen. firecatprojects.org

CRITIC’S PICK

Gage Gallery

2/6–5/10 Matt Eich: Carry Me Ohio. A live zebra standing in the snow, a fire burning in a trashcan—these are just a few of the striking images that photographer Matt Eich captured during a three-year project documenting southeastern Ohio and its communities. Once the robust region was supported by mining industry jobs, but now over a quarter of its residents live below the poverty line. Eich’s photos attest to human suffering but also survival. Roosevelt U, 18 S Michigan. roosevelt.edu/gagegallery

Gallery 400

Through 3/1 Ghost Nature. Filmmakers and visual artists team up to illustrate the capriciousness of nature. 400 S Peoria. gallery400.uic.edu

Hyde Park Art Center

2/2–5/18 Samantha Hill: Topographical Depictions of the Bronzeville Renaissance. Black culture flourished in Bronzeville from the 1920s through the ’50s, giving rise to important new forms of music, art, literature, and activism. Artist-in-residence Samantha Hill maps this cultural renaissance on the Hyde Park Art Center’s walls, using oral histories, photos, artifacts, and an interactive component that invites viewers to participate in the story. 5020 S Cornell. hydeparkart.org

Linda Warren Projects

2/21–4/5 Chris Cosnowski and Chris Uphues. Two painters who know how to please a crowd show new works in their signature styles: Cosnowski’s shiny hyperrealism and Uphues’s happy-go-lucky designs. 327 N Aberdeen. lindawarrenprojects.com

Monique Meloche Gallery

2/8–3/29 Heidi Norton. The artist known for encasing living houseplants within her sculptures debuts new work for her first solo exhibition at the Wicker Park gallery. For this show, Norton experiments with photographic tools and techniques, such as temperature-reactive (thermochromic) film and an endoscope video camera, as well as custom-cast and etched-glass objects. Also showing: Pedro Vélez in the window gallery. 2154 W Division. moniquemeloche.com

Peanut Gallery

Through 2/5 Sean Hernandez: Ghost Town. Using puppet animation from cut paper, Hernandez mounts this illustrated allegory about a fictional town full of beasts and spirits. 1000 N California. peanutgallerychicago.com

Rhona Hoffman Gallery

2/28–4/5 Deana Lawson and Derrick Adams. What makes an African American body “black”? Two young New York–based contemporary artists explore this question. Lawson strips her made-up models and poses them in intimate domestic settings to confront the topic of beauty. Adams creates generalized portraits using collage techniques to suggest the socially constructed nature of identity.
Through 2/22 Michael Rakowitz: The Breakup. Collage maker Rakowitz uses the 1969 disbanding of the Beatles as a metaphor for Israeli and Palestinian miscommunications.
118 N Peoria. rhoffmangallery.com

Riverside Arts Center and Freeark Gallery

Through 2/15 Judith Mullen: A Crooked Path. Nature and culture collide in Mullen’s sculptures as she mixes tree branches and bark with fabrics and Styrofoam, forming her assemblages into nest-like thickets. 32 E Quincy, Riverside. riversideartscenter.com

CRITIC’S PICK

2nd Floor Rear

2/1–2 The 24-hour festival celebrates Chicago’s alternative and DIY art venues with an art walk, parties, and temporary contemporary exhibitions staged in many unusual and make-do spots, from basements to public parks. All events are free to attend. Various times and locations. 2ndfloorrear.org

Threewalls

Through 2/22 Faith Wilding: Fearful Symmetries Retrospective. Second-wave feminist artist Faith Wilding, known for her experimental performance and installation art, gets a retrospective. 119 N Peoria. three-walls.org

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