10 art shows to see this fall — Lori Waxman

Chicago Tribune, 02.14.2017

This fall, feminist perspectives, generally, and women artists, particularly, take over the Chicago arts scene. It wasn’t planned by the city, a museum conglomerate or even one of the local academies; it just worked out that way. That’s grass roots, baby.

“Paola Cabal: Crescent”: Blue moons are not just a saying, and they are not at all blue. They are

extra full moons that make up for the gap between celestial cycles and the human calendar. Cabal

spent the night of July 31 in the Riverside Arts Center recording the light cast by this rare astronomical

phenomenon. How does it differ from the shades of other moons, and of the gallery’s natural

light? Cabal’s painterly mastery of subtle shifts in shadow promises illumination. Aug. 30 to Oct. 3,

Riverside Arts Center, 32 E. Quincy St., Riverside, Ill., 708-442-6400, www.riversideartscenter.com

“Deana Lawson”: The people in Lawson’s photographs are often nude, mostly at home, and always

black. What they reveal for her camera is startlingly unabashed and unbelievably intimate. First begun

among friends and strangers in her Brooklyn neighborhood, in recent years Lawson has set out

for Ethiopia, Haiti and farther still, linking local bodies with global ones. September 5-January 10, Art

Institute of Chicago, 111 South Michigan Ave., 312-443-3600, www.artic.edu

“Warm Kitty, Soft Kitty”: Touch is the only one of the five senses that reciprocates — to touch is to

be touched. What that means in an increasingly digitalized age is increasingly vital. In consideration,

guest curator Camille Morgan offers a knowingly sentimental title and the work of 19 artists: embroidered

hands by Eliza Bennett, smart-heart-on-her-sleeve performances by Alexandria Eregbu,

a crushingly happy video by Hiro Murai, the hirsute furnishings of Fo Wilson, and more. September 6-December 13, Hyde Park Art

Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave., 773-324-5520, www.hydeparkart.org

“Irena Haiduk: Seductive Exacting Realism”: Under a title that threatens to create its own terrifying movement, of which she may be

the first member, Haiduk presents a song sung by two hired voices. The original duet was an interview the artist recorded with Srda

Popovic, a winningly handsome Serbian political activist and consultant who titled his TED talk “How to topple a dictator.” Will the

tune be danceable? Certainly it’ll be catchy. Watch out. September 10-October 8, The Renaissance Society, 5811 S. Ellis Ave., 773-

702-8670, www.renaissancesociety.org

“Agnes Varda: Photographs Get Moving (potatoes and shells, too)”: The 87-year-old grande dame of French New Wave cinema is

coming to town. She will show video installations and still photographs. Anyone who is moved by curiosity, by the quotidian, by potatoes

shaped like hearts; who is intrigued by simple questions that turn out to have far-reaching, profound and sometimes also silly

answers; who cares about real women and having their experiences be a part of the world — anyone like that should probably see

this show. And try to catch a glimpse of Varda herself, who will grace a series of related film screenings. September 11-November 8,

Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th Street, 773-702-6082, arts.uchicago.edu

“Jessica Stockholder: Door Hinges,” “ASSISTED” and “Rose’s Inclination”: In previous projects, Stockholder has used brilliant,

blocky swaths of paint to marshal old sofas and lamps, refrigerator doors, aisles of plastic housewares, sidewalk grates, shipping

containers and even a city intersection into a dynamic whirlwind zippy enough to knock your socks off. The results feels happy,

ruthless and generous all at once. At Kavi Gupta, her new sculptures will act as “Assists” for work by 16 other artists, including Polly

Apfelbaum and Sol Lewitt; at the Smart, she’ll wallop the prim lobby, bursting out into the garden and beyond. September 12-January

16, Kavi Gupta, 219 Elizabeth St., 312-432-0708, www.kavigupta.com; September 12-July 2, Smart Museum of Art, 5550 S.

Greenwood Ave., 773-702-0200, www.smartmuseum.uchicago.edu

“Creatures from the Concrete”: Nine local ladies armed with cans of spray paint, buckets of wheat paste and neatly cutout stencils

will take over the second floor of the Art Center to make their collective mark. It’s safer than tagging the side of a train car, and there’s

no more denying it belongs in the gallery. From Beloved, Monstrochika, Zorzorzor and crew, expect tough kids, zombie cats, sacred

geometry and no nonsense, none at all. September 13-January 10, Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave., 773-324-5520, www.

hydeparkart.org

“Vacancy: Urban Interruption and (Re)Generation”: If architecture is the great new locus of social change, abandoned real estate is

the place to be. Chicago has plenty of it, often as not surrounded by a dearth of communal resources. “Vacancy” presents projects

10 art shows to see this fall

Lori Waxman

September 4, 2015

ChicagoTribune.com Entertainment

by Emmanuel Pratt, Amanda Williams, Andres L. Hernandez and their collaborators that fill these empty spaces not only with imaginative

possibility, but also with an aquaponics system, a colorful refuge for black women, and a dance in memory of Cabrini-Green.

September 14-November 14, Glass Curtain Gallery, 1104 S. Wabash, 312-369-6643, students.colum.edu/deps/glass-curtain-gallery

“La Palette: The Chicago Palette”: In our tell-all times, artists are expected to offer revelations that go beyond the final presentation of

a sculpture, photograph or installation. Only recently has it made sense to put Francis Bacon’s studio on display in a Dublin gallery.

Chicago gets its own version thanks to the work of Dr. Stephen Sheldon, a specialist in pediatric sleep disorders who moonlights as

a photographer of palettes. The work surfaces of a dozen-and-a-half Chicago painters, including Michelle Grabner, Richard Hull and

Roger Brown, will hang alongside their finished canvases. September 19-November 29, The Ed Paschke Art Center, 5415 Higgins

Ave., 312-533-4911, www.edpaschkeartcenter.org

“Brandon Alvendia: The Great Good Place”: What is a great good place? It’s a neighborhood hangout and also, arguably, the basis

for democratic civic engagement. In the regular world, these spaces are fast disappearing. In the art world, they’re the stuff of relational

installations. Alvendia brings them all together — well, one week at a time, really, with plenty of local collaborators, as yet

unconfirmed — for a potluck block party sleepover workshop BBQ nightclub blowout. November 7-December 12, Threewalls, 119

N. Peoria, 312-432-3972, www.three-walls.org