Awesome Art Shows to See This Fall

Treat yourself to an afternoon of art! Whether you decide to take a date or take a coffee to-go, here’s the official Chicago Chic guide to this fall’s must-see shows.

Stages – Graham Foundation

In partnership with the inaugural season of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Graham Foundation presents a retrospective of Chicago-based artist Barbara Kasten’s work in their latest exhibition, “Stages.” Kasten’s career has spanned several decades and mediums and “Stages” is the first major survey of her practices. The iconic Madlener House serves as a homecoming site for the former Columbia College professor as we honor her artistic legacy. The show presents her pieces in a nonlinear progression, and her complex, disorienting, abstract yet representational work encourages us to look back, look more closely and to be conscious of what we see. “Stages” will be on view until January 9, 2016 and is free to the general public.

Photo by Jane Condon

Photo by Jane Condon

Door Hinges – Kavi Gupta

Jessica Stockholder shines at Kavi Gupta Elizabeth Street. The gallery’s wildly colorful, playful and smart setup will charm and surprise its audiences with a clever co-mingling of unexpected, ordinary objects made extraordinary. In Stockholder’s solo show “Door Hinges” we see everyday objects – pianos, Smart cars, stools and mirrors – divorced from the everyday, challenging us to confront our relationship to these objects and their presence in the spaces we inhabit. Upstairs, we have “ASSISTED,” a group show curated by Stockholder, featuring an array of installations, paintings, and sculptural objects. Both shows are bold and vibrant and ask their audiences to confront their understanding of and relationship to contemporary art. See the show before it closes January 16, 2016.

Photo by Jane Condon

Photo by Jane Condon

Skycube – Elmhurst Art Museum

Elmhurst artist David Wallace Haskins gives us a reason to take a trip to the suburbs. Haskins’ Skycubea sturdy 8’ x 8’ structure made of steel, glass and infrared light film sits just outside the museum and weighs in at about three tons. Skycube brings the sky to eye-level in an interactive, phenomenological installation – just as the colors and clouds in the sky are constantly shifting and changing, so is the viewer’s experience of Skycube. Plan accordingly, the weather will affect your outing! Skycube will be on view through Spring 2016.

Solarise: A Sea of All Colors – Garfield Park Conservatory

“Solarise: A Sea of All Colors” is an immersive, multimedia installation at the Garfield Park Conservatory designed by Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero of Luftwerk. The artistic duo used light and sound to create five site-specific installations that both emphasize and complement the conservatory’s gardens and greens. Funded by a grant from Exelon Corporation and ComEd, this free exhibition explores the relationships between technology and nature and also art and science in an effort to emphasize STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) learning. The exhibition will be open through September 22, 2016.

Expressionist Impulses: German and Central European Art 1890-1990 – Smart Museum

If contemporary art isn’t really your “thing,” head over to the Smart Museum at the University of Chicago for “Expressionist Impulses.” Following the Impressionist movement, European Expressionist artists were fascinated with color, gesture, and emotion. Their works are often characterized by their bold, provocative brushstrokes strokes or dramatic use of lighting or contrast. Expressionist art is exactly what it sounds like – expressive. The exhibition boasts about 80 pieces, featuring paintings, drawings and sculptures, and also highlights major movements within Expressionism. The show is interesting, informative, and perfect for the art history enthusiast. On view until January 10, 2016.

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