OUTSIDE CHANCE Relive Steve Krakow’s The Secret History of Chicago Music at the MCA; browse works by the outsider Ulysses Davis at Intuit—both free, both featuring self-portraits of the artists (above).
Don’t-miss picks for Wed 05.05.10 through Tue 05.11.10:
ALSO THIS WEEK: Tracey Scott Wilson’s play The Good Negro is a stark reminder of how the good old days were anything but: In the Jim Crow South, a mother and her four-year-old are arrested when the little girl uses a whites-only restroom. The play is in premieres now at the Goodman.
FREEBIES OF THE WEEK
galleries The Treasure of Ulysses Davis
Intuit, Chicago’s home base for outsider art, announced last week that it will start charging an admission fee of $5 in June. Since the gallery’s current show runs only through May 15, you can visit free now without a guilty conscience—and visit you should: Few have seen the art of Ulysses Davis (1914-90). The self-taught Savannah native not only made works well outside the mainstream, he was very reluctant to part with them: “They’re my treasure,” he said. “If I sold these, I’d be really poor.” The show offers a rare look at his astonishing oeuvre—including a series of carved wooden busts depicting every U.S. president from George Washington to George H. W. Bush.
GO: Through May 15. Intuit, 756 N Milwaukee. art.org
ALSO THIS WEEK: The show opening May 8 at Western Exhibitions is only the Chicagoan Rachel Niffenegger’s second solo gig, but her work has been popping up in all the right places. Her figurative paintings and sculptures, often of faces or disembodied limbs, teeter between the vibrancy of life and the rot of decay—and you can bet we’ll be seeing more of them.
Photography: (Krakow) Self-portrait of Steve Krakow. Courtesy of the artist. (Davis) Self‑Portrait, not dated, wood, 8 ¼ x 4 ¼ x 3 inches, King‑Tisdell Cottage Foundation, photo © Peter Harholdt