Art shows to see now
"They Seek a City: Chicago and the Art of Migration, 1910–50" | Art Institute of Chicago
Rarely seen works by artists such as Elizabeth Catlett reflect the experiences of the hundreds of thousands of people who moved to Chicago to escape persecution or poverty in the South, Eastern Europe and elsewhere during the first half of the 20th century. Through May 23.
"Amalia Pica" | Museum of Contemporary Art
In her first major solo museum exhibition (co-organized by the MCA and the MIT List Visual Arts Center), the London-based Argentine artist examines communication—in particular, the act of listening—and civic participation through drawings, sculptures, installations, projections, large-scale photographic prints and live performances. Incorporating simple materials such as flags, banners, confetti and brightly colored drinking glasses, her works are not only thoughtful but beautiful to behold. Through Aug 11.
"Jasmine Justice: All Myths Are True" | 65GRAND
For her third solo exhibition at 65GRAND, the Istanbul-based artist presents a new series of paintings conceived of as time machines in the vein of Philip K. Dick's "layouts" from the novel The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. What began as drawings made with the aid of classical drafting tools became computer scans, then prints (using crappy ink cartridges), then finally paintings—each one a fantastical journey through time and space. Trippy, dude. Opens May 17.
"Modernism's Messengers: The Art of Alfonso and Margaret Iannelli" | Chicago Cultural Center
Best known as a collaborator of Frank Lloyd Wright, Alfonso Iannelli (1888–1965) had a multifaceted design practice that encompassed advertisements, household products, public sculptures and more. We're glad to see him and his wife, Margaret Iannelli—an artist whose immense talents have been more neglected than her husband's—get the recognition they deserve. Opens May 18.
"Theaster Gates" | Museum of Contemporary Art
An extension of his 12 Ballads for Huguenot House, coproduced by the MCA and exhibited at Documenta 13, Gates takes over the MCA's front atrium, installing a wooden, neon-lit double cross containing objects from Huguenot House (the abandoned South Side building he has worked to restore), alongside repurposed pews from the University of Chicago’s Bond Chapel. These function as seating for three performances that are part of the project, and places for R&R&R (rest and relaxation and reflection) during non-performance times. Opens May 18.