1. Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, MCA
Renowned for their sleek modernist furniture and collaborations with Vitra, these French brothers are synonymous with European design. But, really, weren’t they fine artists all along? Judge for yourself at the duo’s first major U.S. exhibition, which includes Clouds, a mesmerizing work crafted from thousands of felt pieces. 220 E. Chicago Ave., mcachicago.org. Oct. 20 to Jan. 20


A piece by Dan Vo

2. Danh Vo, Renaissance Society
This Vietnamese artist fled a refugee camp in a boat his father built. Now motivated by identity and freedom, he is “deconstructing” Lady Liberty into copper sculptures; this exhibition presents six. 5811 S. Ellis Ave., renaissancesociety.org. Sept. 23 to Dec. 16


'Captain, O’ My Captain' by Hebru Brantley

3. Hebru Brantley, Lacuna Lofts
This Chicago artist has been making his mark on the city for years. Look closely at Brantley’s graffiti-style murals in Wicker Park, Rogers Park, and Pilsen, and you’ll see traces of black American history, comic book–style heroism, and gritty urban life. These same themes haunt Brothers of the Robbing Hood, his sizable collection of new paintings, which tell the Robin Hood story through a “hood life” lens. 2150 S. Canalport Ave., hebrubrantley.com. Opens Oct. 12


'Queen And Country' by Steve McQueen

4. Steve McQueen, Art Institute
Before McQueen was a star, he was a socially conscious Turner Prize–winning director who tackled topics such as genocide and war. The Art Institute owns the largest U.S. collection of his art films and photography; its landmark mid-career survey heads to Europe in 2013. 111 S. Michigan Ave., artic.edu. Oct. 21 to Jan. 6


'Shabolovka Radio Tower, Moscow, Russia' by Richard Pare

5. Richard Pare, Graham Foundation
Few artists can bring life and beauty to Soviet architecture; this British photographer is the exception. Lost Vanguard: Soviet Modernist Architecture, 1922–32 captures both the innate drama of concrete and steel structures and the melancholy within. 4 W. Burton Pl., grahamfoundation.org. Oct. 12 to Feb. 16


'Glass House' by Melanie Schiff

6. Melanie Schiff, Kavi Gupta
This Los Angeles-based photographer, a former Chicagoan, snaps quiet and ethereal photos that depict stark, light-drenched landscapes. She landed two fall shows, a retrospective at Illinois State University and an exhibition at Kavi Gupta. The latter contains new work. 835 W. Washington Blvd., kavigupta.com. Oct. 26 to Dec. 8


'Studies in Solitude, Cloud 2' by Dietrich Wegner

7. Dietrich Wegner, Carrie Secrist Gallery
The native Australian stains sculptures of babies with corporate logos and creates mushroom cloud “playhouses” that kids can climb inside. His latest riff is inspired by primate development and Dr. Seuss. 835 W. Washington Blvd., secristgallery.com. Oct. 21 to Dec. 8


'Nowhere #9904' by Ian Whitmore

8. Ian Whitmore, Johalla Projects
The photographer’s project Nowhere captures places without definition. He’s putting up work at the Damen Blue Line stop, too. 1821 W. Hubbard St., johallaprojects.com. Through Dec. 1


'Transparence And Space Illusion 3' by Michelle Prazak

9. Michelle Prazak, Mission Gallery
Is it a graph in a chemistry textbook or a geometric painting? You decide at this Peru-based artist’s first U.S. solo show. 431 W. Chicago Ave., themissionprojects.com. Through Dec. 22


'Black Cherry Pit' by Candida Alvarez

10. Candida Alvarez, Hyde Park Art Center
The Latina artist and prof at the School of the Art Institute creates large abstract paintings characterized by swirling strokes and contrasting colors. This is her first solo show in five years. 5020 S. Cornell Ave., hydeparkart.org. Opens Dec. 2


Photography: (1) Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Clouds, 2008, Photo By Paul Tahon And R&E Bouroullec/ Courtesy Of Kvadrat; (2) courtesy of artist; (3) Hebru Brantley, Captain, O’ My Captain/courtesy of artist; (4) Steve McQueen, Queen And Country, 2007-2009/photo courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery; (5) Richard Pare, Shabolovka Radio Tower, Moscow, Russia. Vladimir Shukhov, 1922/Photograph Copyright Pare 2007; (6) Melanie Schiff, Glass House, 2012/courtesy of Kavi Gupta; (7) Dietrich Wegner, Studies in Solitude, Cloud 2, 2011/ courtesy of the artist and Carrie Secrist Gallery; (8) Ian Whitmore, Nowhere #9904, 2009/ courtesy of the artist; (9) Michelle Prazak, Transparence And Space Illusion 3, 2012/ courtesy of the artist and The Mission; (10) Candida Alvarez, Black Cherry Pit, 2009/ courtesy of the artist and Hyde Park Art Center