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EXPO Chicago’s fifth edition is currently on view until Sunday. If you happen to be in the Windy City during arguably its most blissful month here is a list of shows worth your while.
“Kerry James Marshall: Mastry” at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)
Through September 25th
This is the last week to see the MCA’s major survey of Kerry James Marshall’s paintings with special emphasis on the last 35 years. Marshall confronts the canon of Western painting with African American life and history as subject matter. Much of his work from the last decades reference specific events of American history, re-contextualizing the African American experience from a broader perspective. Using endorsed Western forms such as the historical tableau, landscape, portraiture, murals, and even comic strips, he effectively makes the invisible visible. This strategy allows him to address and correct what he calls a “vacuum in the image bank.”
“Ragnar Kjartansson / The National: A Lot of Sorrow” at the Art Institute
Through October 16th
On May 5, 2013, the Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson, together with Brooklyn-based band The National, played at MoMA PS1 the three and half-minute song A Lot of Sorrow, on repeat for six hours. This fusion of concert and art performance generated a fluctuating piece of music altering as wearing hours passed by. Profit from the performance and DVDs sale went to the Partners In Health organization. The Art Institute of Chicago is currently showing the unique performance through a video installation in its 186 gallery. Every Thursday at 1:45PM, the video starts from the beginning, allowing interested visitors to watch the entire six-hour performance during museum hours.
“The New Contemporary” at the Art Institute
Through December 5th
Chicago-based collectors Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson donated 44 iconic works of contemporary art to the Art Institute. This extraordinary gesture constitutes the largest gift of art in the museum’s 136-year history. These works are being displayed on the second floor of the museum’s New Wing (designed by Renzo Piano), and includes pieces by Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter, Cindy Sherman, and Jeff Koons. A catalogue accompanies the show with an interview of Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson on their collection.
“László Moholy-Nagy: Abstract/Object” at the Art Institute
Through September 26th
“Abstract/Object” pays tribute to Hungarian-born and Chicago-based artist László Moholy-Nagy. This exhibit complements Moholy-Nagy’s retrospective “Future Present” and starting in October, both shows will be on view through January. “Abstract/Object” emphasizes the influence and resonance of the artist’s experiments in other artists’ work (made by Bruce Nauman, Mel Bochner, Wolfgang Tillman, Liz Deschenes, and more) in film, photography, painting, and prints made from 1965 to today.
“Ben Rivers: Urth” at The Renaissance Society
Through November 6th
The Renaissance Society is presenting the first American exhibition devoted to the work of London-based artist Ben Rivers. Overlapping the lines between documentary and fiction, experimental film and cinema, his practice is concerned with the process of filmmaking, while exploring ideas of utopia, marginality, landscape, freedom, and flux. For “Urth,” he produced a new film, shot in Arizona’s Biosphere 2, that forms a cinematic meditation on ambitious experiments, artificial environments, and visions of the future.
“Luftwerk: Corner of a Square” at The Arts Club of Chicago
Through February 25th
As part of the celebration of its centennial exhibition “The Arts Club of Chicago at 100,” the institution has launched an ongoing series of garden projects. During EXPO CHICAGO, artist duo Luftwerk (Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero) will draw upon the club’s staircase designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to create a light installation that activates the garden during the day and night.
“40 Years: Part 1” at Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Through October 22th
To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the gallery will host three themed exhibitions celebrating its history this fall. The first, on view through October 22, will focus on the origins of the gallery’s program of minimal and conceptual art, “featuring work by artists like Derrick Adams, Vito Acconci, Mel Bochner, Andre Butzer, Bruce Nauman, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Spencer Finch, Sol LeWitt, Wolfgang Laib, Robert Mangold, Edda Renouf, Suzanne Harris, Pedro Cabrita, Fred Sandback, among others.
“Every Building in Baghdad” the Rifat Chadirji Archives at the Graham Foundation
Through December 31st
The Graham foundation is presenting photographic works by Iraqi architect Rifat Chadirji through the original collection of his building documents held at the Arab Image Foundation in Beirut. As a governmental architect and a chronicling photographer, Chadriji was both an actor and spectator of the postwar modernization in Iraq from the 1950s through the 1970s. As an architect he consolidated factories, colleges, monopoly headquarters, and communication structures, yet his street life shots reveal the social practices and spaces that were threatened by forces driving Iraq’s evolution, notably its growing oil economy.