Continuing our coverage of what’s going on in Chicago around the art fair EXPO, we bring you the must-see exhibitions to see while in town this week.
“Hairy Who? 1966—1969”
Art Institute of Chicago
September 26, 2018—January 6, 2019
On the 50th anniversary of their final exhibition in Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) is presenting “Hairy Who? 1966—1969,” celebrating this unconventional group of artists. At a time of great popularity for Pop Art and Minimalism, the bold Chicago collective Hairy Who created their own distinct style, separate from the cultural landscape around them. Jim Falconer, Art Green, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Suellen Rocca, and Karl Wirsum together created paintings, comics, posters, sculptures, prints, watercolors, and gonzo installations. “Hairy Who formed in the crucible of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the artists studied works in the museum’s collection. In a way, it’s a bit of a homecoming,” said the exhibition’s co-curator Mark Pascale, Janet and Craig Duchossois Curator of Prints and Drawings.
Liliana Porter’s “Memorabilia”
Carrie Secrist Gallery
September 15—November 3, 2019
“Memorabilia” looks at the career of Argentina-born, New York-based Liliana Porter. The pioneering Latinx artist has long addressed social and political issues in her work, looking to represent the everyperson. On view are paintings, photographs, drawings, installations, collages, videos, and ceramics. The broad range of work explores memory and nostalgia with humor and a tinge of trepidation.
September 29—October 27, 2018
“AFRICOBRA 50” celebrates the 50th anniversary of the founding of the black artist collective AFRICOBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists). The exhibition includes works by the five founding members: Gerald Williams, Wadsworth Jarrell, Jae Jarrell, Jeff Donaldson, and Barbara Jones-Hogu. Their works include text, traditional African patterns, positive imagery of black people, and “Kool-Aid colors.” Also on view are works from artists influenced by the group, like Basil Kincaid, Carolyn Lawrence, Bernard Williams, Sherman Beck, Shahar Caren Weaver, Robert Paige, and James Phillips.
Enrico David’s “Gradations of Slow Release”
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
September 29, 2018—March 10, 2019
“Gradations of Slow Release” looks at the nearly 20-year career of Italian-born, London-based Enrico David. The artist works in a variety of media, including drawing, sculpture, tapestry, and installation. The survey focuses on David’s circular process, exploring the human figure through distortion, stretching, and transformation. The exhibition is organized by MCA Chief Curator Michael Darling and will travel next year to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
September 15—October 27, 2018
This exhibition of new work marks Sanford Biggers’ third solo show at Monique Meloche. The show follows the artist’s recent year spent in Rome as an American Academy Fellow in Visual Arts. The influence of that time can be seen in his marble sculptures, which accompany new quilt paintings and wall reliefs. Biggers continues to explore traditional and historical references and material to create art that is relevant to today’s socio-political atmosphere.
Torkwase Dyson’s “James Samuel Madison”
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
September 14—October 27, 2018
The title of Torkwase Dyson’s first solo show at Rhona Hoffman Gallery is named after her maternal grandmother, James Samuel Madison. Seven large-scale paintings address Madison’s move from New Orleans to Chicago, as well as the greater movements and displacements that came from the Transatlantic slave trade, the Great Migration, and more currently, climate change. In Dyson’s abstract geometric we see images of water tables, boats, and oil rigs. “For black people, moving through a given environment comes with questions of belonging and a self-determination of visibility and semi-autonomy. This means for the systemically disenfranchised, compositional movement—ways in which the body unifies, balances, and arranges itself to move through space—is a skill used in the service of self-emancipation within hostile geographies,” said the artist.